About two weeks ago my App Inventor account from Google came through. I was placed in the tantalising position of being able to quickly and easily develop my own Apps!
Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Installing all the needed Java things takes time, although it is far, far less confusing that installing everything you need for Android’s proper SDK.
Working through the tutorials is fun too. You can very quickly press a picture of a cat and get your phone to make a purring noise.
In a startling moment of Apple love, the media in general recoiled at the idea of App Inventor, predicting a wave of naff Apps. Fortunately, when reading a little more on the App Inventor website, you discover that Apps made using it can’t be distributed via the App Market. Google promise they’re working on it, but I would hope it’s not a priority.
It’s fun and easy to use and anyone out there with an Android phone can sign up. Like I said above, compared to the official SDK, installing is a LOT easier. The SDK requires so many different third-party programs.
Overall I’m glad I have the App Inventor, but mainly because it’s spurred me onto setting up the SDK. Now, I’m not promising any Apps overnight, but give me a couple of months and I might be able to produce an App that makes your phone bark when you press on a picture of a doggie.