How To: Android App Inventor




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App Inventor from Google is a very useful tool when it comes to prototyping applications for an Android device, in this Instructable we look at Installing the components needed to create them.


Step 1: Step 1: Equipment

You will need:

A computer with internet.

System requirements:

Computer and operating system

Macintosh (with Intel processor): Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6
Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
GNU/Linux: Ubuntu 8+, Debian 5+


Mozilla Firefox 3.6 or higher
Apple Safari 5.0 or higher
Google Chrome 4.0 or higher
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or higher

Step 2: Step 2: Test Your Java Configuration

Your computer needs to run Java 6 (also known as Java 1.6). You can download Java from

Test your Java configuration by performing both of the following tests:

1. Visit the Java test page. You should see a message that Java is working and that the version is Java 1.6.

2. Run the AppInventor Java test by clicking on this link. This will check that your browser is properly configured to run Java, and that your computer can launch applications with Java Web Start.

App Inventor will not work on your computer if these tests do not succeed. Don't go on to try to use App Inventor until you've dealt with the issue.

Step 3: Step 3: Install the App Inventor Setup Software

Before you can use App Inventor, you need to install some software on your computer. The software you need is provided in a package called App Inventor Setup. Follow the instructions for your operating system to do the installation.

Instructions for Mac OS X: Here
Instructions for GNU/Linux: Here
Instructions for Windows: Here

Step 4: Step 4: Android Device Setup

Set up your Android device:

In this section, we'll make sure your phone is ready for you to use with App Inventor. This involves checking a few settings and making sure they're set the right way, then connecting the phone to your computer with a USB cable. If you have a Windows machine, then you may also need to install a driver for the phone.

Compatible phones:

There are hundreds of different Android phone models, and new ones are appearing all the time. Even we don't know about all of them. Here are a few of the phones that are being used successfully with App Inventor:

Google: Nexus One, Nexus S
Motorola: Droid, Droid X, Droid Incredible
T-Mobile: G1
HTC: Incredible, Hero, Desire, …

Note, however, that some of these phones will require the installation of drivers to work with Windows computers.
Whichever model you have, your phone must have an SD card installed, or else it won't work with App Inventor.

Even if your Android phone isn't on this list, it's still likely to work with App Inventor, but we can't say for sure. Follow the instructions on this page, and if you have any problems, see the troubleshooting page, or search the App Inventor User Forum under "Getting set up and connecting your phone" for advice from others who may be using the same phone.

Check your settings:

To get your phone ready to work with App Inventor, follow these steps:

1.Tap the Home button to go to your phone's Home screen.
2.Tap the Menu button, then Settings, then Applications.
3.If your phone has an Unknown sources setting, make sure it is checked.
4.Tap Development.
5.Make sure both USB Debugging and Stay Awake are checked.

If your phone is on the lock screen, unlock it as you would to get ready to run an app. Now get your USB cable and connect the phone to the computer. Two status messages appear on the phone in the notifications area at the top of the screen:

- USB Connected means the phone is connected to the computer.
- USB Debugging Connected allows the App Inventor on the computer to control the phone.

Step 5: Step 5: You're Done!

Now its time to develop and create wonderful apps just remember to sign in with your Gmail account and you are ready to go.

Check out my other instructables for more things on android devices:



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    24 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is an excellent guide! I was able to install the App Setup Software Inventor, but when I get to step 4 I struck me, because I do not know which device to choose. I have a Lindsay A-1A Tablet PC , it is not a phone.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    OK, I did all steps (without identifying phone)

    I started a project, I need to open and read a TXT, but can not find anything like this in the options on the left.


    3 years ago

    Thanks to share Android App info... i am impressed...


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I was unable to get past step 3 due to the link regarding App Setup Software for Windows is broken. Can you please help/update?!


    7 years ago on Step 2

    Seems as though the second link is broken : /


    Thanks for your comment, I have spent about an hour figuring it out and I'll put an instructable up for you in a few hours ( I have to write a report about a java program I wrote for an assessment ) I'll try and get it done as soon as possible for you. Any other questions I'm keen to answer. Btw your device should be able to connect, just plug it in with USB and if you have the drivers installed for it and the software installed correctly you should be able to click on "Connect to device" and click on your MAC address and you should see an app named "AppInventorApp" come up on your device, it might take a while but it should come up, be patient, also if your device is ready to be connected the little mobile icon in blocks editor next to "connect to device" should turn green

    10 replies

    My tablet is a cheap one, but I have not drivers for it in my notebook. I connected them via USB, I can see disks F and G with read-write rights.
    I think I have not all elements needed to create an app. The problem is compounded by my limited knowledge of English.

    My notebook have Windows XP.

    I don't see a "Connect to device" button in the tablet, maybe it is a vertical arrow pointing down over a thick line, but when I click it, the tablet shows date and time.

    What I wanted to do is TXT reader that allows searching for a word, which I have not found among the free available on the web.

    Good luck with your program, and not worry about me anymore.


    I will be able to develop you an application to do this over the next few weeks, it might not be glamorous but it will work, you speak Spanish right?


    I speak spanish only, I live in Argentina.

    My need is to open two files .txt simultaneously, but in my tablet I can not do this with the eBook reader. I tried some other txt readers, but they lack of search. I want that feature to find words in dictionaries. Another pesky problem are the latin characters, many readers don't recognize them.

    The Android Version is 1.6, the vendor of the tablet says that don't upgrade it because then the device will not functions anymore.


    I know this comment was a while ago but I have advanced highly in the past year, I can help you with any of your endeavours if you need help, I'm keen to help


    Thank you for your offer, but my Android tablet broke and do not think I will buy another for a while.

    Congratulations for having learned a lot from Android!


    The problem was hardware, or perhaps my brain software: the tablet was in the pocket of my jacket, on the backseat of the car, and I did not realize and threw the extinguisher above. Split the screen into countless splinters. Repair it is not easy, and costs more than I want to pay.


    I will see what I can do over the next few weeks, I'll try my best and try for the best result for you, I do not usually use app inventor for making applications as it is limited to a certain extent, I write code in Java mainly because it is used for Android development, I believe strongly that I can do this for you also including a search option for you, latin characters shouldn't be a problem if your device runs Android applications

    Spanish translation:

    Veré lo que puedo hacer en las próximas semanas, voy a tratar lo mejor posible y tratar de obtener el mejor resultado para usted, no suelen utilizar el inventor de la aplicación para la solicitud, ya que se limita en cierta medida, que escribir código en Java, principalmente porque se utiliza para el desarrollo de Android, creo firmemente que puedo hacer esto para usted también incluye una opción de búsqueda para usted, caracteres latinos no debería ser un problema si el dispositivo se queda aplicaciones de Android