Google tool aims to make it easy to create Android programs

Google unveiled a tool Monday designed to allow anyone to create simple applications for smartphones running its Android operating system.

"App Inventor for Android" "makes it easy for anyone - programmers and non-programmers, professionals and students - to create mobile applications for Android-powered devices," Google said in a blog post

"To use App Inventor, you do not need to be a developer," Google said. "App Inventor requires NO programming knowledge."

Instead of writing code, App Inventor allows a user to visually design an application using Lego-like "blocks" of code.

Certain blocks are programmed, for example, to store information, others to repeat an action and others to perform an action only under certain conditions.

"You can build just about any app you can imagine with App Inventor," Google said.

"Because App Inventor provides access to a GPS-location sensor, you can build apps that know where you are," it said.

"You can build an app to help you remember where you parked your car, an app that shows the location of your friends or colleagues at a concert or conference, or your own custom tour app of your school, workplace or a museum.

"You can even make use of the phone's sensors to move a ball through a maze based on tilting the phone," Google said.

Google's open-source Android platform is used by a number of leading handset manufacturers to power their devices and the Internet giant said recently that more than 160,000 Android-powered mobile phones are being sold every day.

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