While the Android Market and its selection of apps has grown steadily and far outpaced the rest of the challenger’s to the iTunes App Store, it still trails the iPhone’s store’s app count by more than half. Starting this week, Google is taking steps to correct that mismatch in available apps with the launch of ‘App Inventor for Android’.
The App Inventor is a do it yourself application design suite, downloadable by anyone that allows those without any programming or development experience to create rich applications for the Android Platform and then download the same to their Android handsets. The tool gives users a drag and drop easy-to-use interface with rich functionality-allowing applications to access core phone services such as text messaging and GPS.
The website for download also provides tutorials to get you started, and claims beta-testing has been done over the past year with users ranging from nursing students to sixth graders. Google reckons that users know best what kind of applications they need on the phone, and is more than willing to give them the tools to create the same.
What remains to be seen is if these user generated applications will make their way back on to the Android Market for all to download. Whilst this could be a great move in terms of boosting the availability of applications, it may also clutter the market with sub-standard applications of dubious utility.