MIT takes over App Inventor for Android
App Inventor for Android has found a new home, days after Google announced it was ditching the project.
The tool lets people create apps for the Android platform using visual programming blocks, without requiring any coding skills.
Despite App Inventor winning 100,000 users, notably among educators, Google opted to open source the project as part of the process of closing down its innovations arm, Google Labs, in order to streamline the business.
It’s a terrific experience of starting with an idea, finding visionary industry leaders willing to make it a reality, then bringing it back home to MIT
A saviour has arrived in the form of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with the famous tech school’s Media Lab taking over organisation of the project as part of its new Centre for Mobile Learning – started with support from Google.
It’s a fitting home for the project, as Hal Abelson, an MIT professor and co-director of the new centre, came up with the idea for App Inventor while working with Google in 2008.
“The new Media Lab initiative completes the circle,” said Abelson. “For me, it’s a terrific experience of starting with an idea, finding visionary industry leaders willing to make it a reality, then bringing it back home to MIT so I can work on projects I love together with colleagues I admire.”
Abelson said MIT planned to “study and extend” the project.
“At MIT, App Inventor will adopt an enriched research agenda with increased opportunities to influence the educational community,” he wrote on the Google research blog.
“The new center is a perfect example of how industry and academia can collaborate effectively to create change enabled by technology, and we look forward to seeing what we can do next, together.”