MIT has begun testing a new App Inventor feature that will enable developers to create their own “extension components”. Extension components are written in Java. Once created and tested, these new components may be shared with other App Inventor developers for use in programs.
What this means: if App Inventor lacks a feature or capability, then a Java developer familiar with App Inventor and its components software development kit will be able to add new features to App Inventor. Over time, the capabilities and power of App Inventor are likely to grow enormously – and rapidly. The ability to extend App Inventor’s features/components is an exciting and tremendously important development for the future of App Inventor!
For now, this feature is in “test mode”.
Source: App Inventor Extension Components available for testing | Explore MIT App Inventor
Volume 2 of the App Inventor 2 Tutorial will be available at Amazon and Google Play/Google books within a few days. Just waiting for the new title to clear through their review process.
Source: MIT App Inventor usage for 2014-2015 Academic Year
As they point out, the cyclical ups and downs in usage suggest App Inventor is primarily used by students – with drop off in usage during school vacation periods.
That suggests an opportunity to expand usage of MIT App Inventor – by insuring that AI2 appeals to a wide audience of potential app developers and not just educational programs!
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Most users are already using AI 2 and are unaffected by this change. But if you are still using AI Classic (version 1), then this message is very important – please click through the link to read the full story!
May 24, 2015 — MIT App Inventor Classic will shut down on July 15, 2015. After July 15, 2015, you will not be able to access or edit your existing AI Classic projects. It will be impossible to create new AI Classic projects.This shutdown applies only to AI Classic (AI1). App Inventor 2 (AI2) will not be affected.
MIT will not automatically convert your AI1 projects to AI2 projects. But MIT will provide a conversion tool that will help you convert the AI projects that are important to you into AI2 projects. We expect to release this converter in about 2 weeks (i.e., around June 8).
Source: App Inventor Classic to Shut Down on July 15 | Explore MIT App Inventor
How do you know which version you are using?
Login to App Inventor and create or open a project. If the URL address in your browser begins with
then you are using Version 2.
As you may know, you can save your App Inventor project to your local computer using the Projects | Export selected project (.aia) to my computer menu option:
Use this feature to save a backup copy on your local computer or to share your code with others (email or transfer the file using DropBox – or similar – or merely copy to a USB thumb drive).
What is inside the .aia file?
Surprisingly, the .aia file is just a regular .zip file. You can verify by saving a copy to your local disk drive, and then rename the file to have a .zip file extension instead of .aia. Then use Windows Explorer, StuffIt Expander or other utility to open and decompress the .zip file.
PLEASE NOTE – DO NOT MODIFY THE CONTENT OF THESE FILES. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT SOMETHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO WRITE APP INVENTOR APPS AND IS PROVIDED “AS IS” “FOR YOUR INFORMATION” ONLY.
Continue reading What is inside a .aia project file?