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Announcing App Inventor 2 Graphics, Animation and Charts book

Volume 4 of my App Inventor guide books series is now available in e-book and print format. The book also includes video-based tutorials to supplement the text.

Back Cover Description

MIT App Inventor is the fast and simple way to develop Android apps. Using a programming system that runs in your Internet browser, just drag and drop user interface components and link together program functions on screen, and then run your app directly on your Android phone or tablet.

Learn to create apps using simplified interactive image sprites and to control movement using a finger on the screen or by tilting the phone or tablet. Learn how to use the “Canvas” features for drawing, including a unique way to implement traditional animation features.

Includes numerous sample apps, detailed explanations, illustrations, app source code downloads and links to video tutorials.

Volume 4 introduces the use of graphics drawing features, including general graphics features, image sprites, animation and charting. Charting refers to the creation of line, column, scatter plot, and strip recorder charts commonly used in business and finance.

This is volume 4 of a 4 volume set. Volume 1 introduces App Inventor programming, Volume 2 introduces advanced features and Volume 3 covers databases and files.

Visit the web site at to learn more about App Inventor and find more tutorials, resources, links to App Inventor books and other App Inventor web sites.

Edward Mitchell is an experienced software developer, having worked in Silicon Valley, for Microsoft and other high tech firms. He has taught college and university courses in programming and information systems. He is the author or co-author of a dozen books on software development. He has a B.S. in information and computer science, an M.S. in software engineering, and an M.B.A. degree.

Target Audience

The text is an introduction to the graphics features of MIT App Inventor covering basic graphics and basic animation methods provided by MIT App Inventor, plus creating traditional animation effects using programming methods, and business/science oriented charting. This is not a text about writing games but a book about the graphics features and how to put them to use for practical applications programs.

Table of Contents

Continue reading Announcing App Inventor 2 Graphics, Animation and Charts book

New Feature! Save your blocks code as an image file! Print blocks code!

App Inventor Elsa Consulting passes this along on Facebook:

Tip: Right click for download blocks as png Image!

Source: App Inventor Elsa Consulting

In case the link does not work, here’s an example – right click on a blank space in the Blocks editor view and get this pop up menu:


Select “Download Blocks as Image” and it downloads a graphic image of all of your blocks – which you can then print out if you want – finally!!!!!!

(FYI – my posting here on this blog is sparse for a little while longer. Been remodeling our kitchen which means lots of time and living in a mess. But I have gotten a lot of work done on Volume 4 of the App Inventor guide. Hope to introduce Volume 4 in about one month – with many neat features coming!)

Use Projects | Checkpoint to save a “Snap shot” of your App Inventor project

Tip – Using Projects | Checkpoint

As we develop our app code, we occassionally make changes that do not work. Sometimes our programming breaks a working app! When that occurs, we wish we had saved an copy of the file so that we can return to the original code before we messed it up.

There are several ways to save a copy:

Continue reading Use Projects | Checkpoint to save a “Snap shot” of your App Inventor project

App Inventor 2 volume 2 status

Volume 1 of App Inventor 2: Tutorial is available at

Volume 2 is in development and will cover a lot of the Android features – like camera and database usage – key elements to create real-world applications.

Volume 2 is completely outlined. But before I start writing, I am creating a moderately large sample application to be used for the examples in the text. Design of the sample application is under way.

I am also working on video tutorials for learning App Inventor 2 – these will end up on Youtube as they get completed.


Welcome to the App Inventor 2 Guide and Tutorial blog

MIT App Inventor 2 is the fast and easy way to create Android apps for smart phones and tablets.

App Inventor provides a “what you see is what you get” drag and drop user interface designer, coupled with a unique graphical programming system that arranges program building “blocks” to define actions and behaviors. This makes for a simplified Android smart phone app development system that is quick to learn and quick to put to use developing your own apps.

You do not need to be programmer to use App Inventor (although any prior programming experience is valuable).

Using App Inventor, you can create many kinds of apps including personal productivity, business, games, multimedia, photography and others.

The user interface is drawn in the “Designer” and the program is created using the “Blocks” editor. A sample program in “Blocks” is shown here:

CaptureThese program components are dragged out of a palette of program “blocks” to define what the program does.

App Inventor does have some limitations – you cannot create all types of apps that are possible using the more complex Java programming language, Eclipse Integrated Development Environment and the Android SDK. But, you can create a wide variety of applications using App Inventor.

App Inventor has some limits on program size – you will notice especially that as your programs become large, the performance of the program “Designer” editor will slow down.