My thoughts on Google’s App Inventor
My email box blew up last Monday. Most were emails from concerned friends, telling me that Google just “killed” Mobile Roadie on the Android platform. This was the day they launched Google App Inventor.
For those of you that don’t know, Google’s App Inventor is a way for non programmers to “build anything you can imagine” on the Android platform.
Mobile Roadie has been the only platform on Android since we launched Android support in February. With the rest of the world having tunnel vision on the iPhone, we wanted to give our clients the flexibility and depth that comes with multi platform support. Android is just the first of many additional platforms we’ll be adding – build it once, it goes anywhere.
I watched Google’s video on their new offering with great interest. Afterwards, I had the impression that I had just watched a presentation on Microsoft Visual Basic in 2000. I love the idea of empowering people to build their own apps (that’s Mobile Roadie’s business). But the trick is in execution. And I don’t know a single Mobile Roadie customer that would watch that video and come away with a sense that it’s easy, quick, and requires no programming knowledge to create apps – all the things that make Mobile Roadie successful today.
That being said, I am sure a lot of people will use Google’s App Inventor, and that’s a good thing because it gets people comfortable with the idea of using a platform to create apps vs. custom development, and widens the market for all. There is a risk, however, with a free tool like this of a massive amount of SPAM apps. Time will tell. With all of Google’s resources, if they simply paid a full time designer to help, it would really improve their offerings.
What do you think? Does Google’s service seem easy-to-use? TechCrunch didn’t think so: http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/12/android-app-inventor-demo/