updated 12:40 pm EST, Sat January 21, 2012
Google and MIT post early open-source App Inventor
Google together with MIT has posted an open-source version of App Inventor for Android developers. The early code for the simplified app tool has little supporting text and isn't yet completely open-source, with users not yet having the option of contributing code back. Until then, MIT is promising periodic code updates and has a Google Group for app writers to help each other.
The step would let developers freely refer to using App Inventor and its logo, but MIT would make it clear when any version was coming directly from itself.
App Inventor was designed by Google to create an easier, often visual tool for building Android apps that mostly need just the standard Android interface elements. As part of Google's wider attempt to streamline the projects it works on, though, official support was shut down. The decision was considered a step back for Android, since it pushed developers into hunting for third-party tools to get a simpler development experience. [via MIT]