2012-03-14 08h45_50
Last Updated: March 22nd, 2012

Those of you from the early days of Android may remember App Inventor - a Google project that allowed people to create apps for Android by dragging and dropping bits of code - no programming experience required. More recently, Google transferred the App Inventor to MIT, where it was open sourced. But the App Inventor (AI) is still a bit tricky to just open and jump right in to - a proper guide through the AI would allow someone to utilize its full potential, and create more complex apps in less time.

Luckily, our friends at InformIT have such a guide - and we've got 10 copies to give away.

This contest is now over. Here are our winners, selected at random:
  1. Gene Yun
  2. Ron Podovich
  3. Dennis Heffernan
  4. Trenton
  5. Chris (Regul)
  6. Micah Madru
  7. ScottyBraun
  8. Irish McSmotPoke
  9. mr (Robert)
  10. Geff Chang

Congratulations, guys - all of you will be contacted for your information in the near future!

Everyone else - keep participating and stay tuned to Android Police so that you don't miss our upcoming giveaway announcements. You can follow AP on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and RSS.

The Book: Android Apps With App Inventor

2012-03-14 08h45_50

Published just a few weeks ago (Feb. 28, 2012) and written by Jörg H. Kloss, Android Apps With App Inventor: The Fast And Easy Way To Build Android Apps spans an immense 600 pages. The eBook is available for $28.79, the paperback for $35.99, or both for $48.59.

With App Inventor, a free visual development system, practically anyone can create robust, modern apps for today’s newest Android smartphones and tablets without any use of Java. Now, there’s a start-to-finish guide to App Inventor for everyone: working developers and non-programmers alike. Both an easy tutorial and a reliable reference, Android Apps with App Inventor provides hands-on walkthroughs that cover every area of App Inventor development, including the Google and MIT versions of App Inventor.
Kloss begins with the absolute basics of program structure, syntax, flow, and function, and then demonstrates simple ways to solve today’s most common mobile development problems. Along the way, you’ll build a dozen real Android apps, from games and geotrackers to navigation systems and news tickers. By the time you’re done, you’ll be comfortable implementing advanced apps and mashups integrating realtime multimedia data from all kinds of Web services with the communication and sensor-based features of your smartphone.

The Contest

Entering is, as always, quite easy. Just drop us a comment below and let us know what kind of app you'd like to create with the App Inventor. Most crucially, you must include a valid email address in the email field of your comment so that we can contact you if you win. Winners can choose print or eBook, whichever they prefer. The ten winners will be chosen at random from the valid comments below, and contacted shortly after the contest ends.

The contest is open from now (Wednesday, March 14) until Sunday, March 18 at 11:59 PM PST. It is open to residents of the following countries:


Good luck!

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • alex

    to be honest i do not know what app I would make. I would have to read the book and use every single detail to make the "perfect" app.

  • Krisztian

    I would like to make an app that connects people in real life.

  • VertigoKeyz

    As a huge Ed, Edd n Eddy fan, I want to create the ultimate fan game: a Jeopardy! clone called "Jeop-ED-Y!" loaded with over 3,000 questions from the show, which I am already at work on. I started work on it with Adobe AIR, but I would prefer to make something more native for Android.

    • J Rush

      I will support this. I love Ed, Edd n Eddy!

  • jinxygrrl

    Wow, good question. I think I would have to develop some sort virtual game. Maybe a monopoly type game to play with friends. There is probably something out there already, but mine would be the best!

  • Jacob

    As a huge Monster Rancher player back in the day. I'd like to create a game somewhat like that but with bar codes and QR codes. Monster Rancher used to scan CDs to get monsters off of them. I'd do that with the codes. You can breed monsters and what not after that to make new ones. Also, you train them for fights. There would also be a multiplayer part so you could fight your friends.

  • Keith

    This could be beneficial to a few linux ports I wanted to start working on. I'm learning to program and this could really put me in the right direction.

  • Enoch

    I would love to get this book to help me write some practical tools applications, eventually maybe a new game of some sort.

  • joseph

    I would love this book to help me write an application for my local church, it would definitely really help.

  • http://415designs.com Tom Calisti

    I would like to create an app for my website / portfolio , and use it to create some for my professional friends... I just wanna learn :)

  • Roz

    An app that helps me create a fantastic kitchen garden, growing fruit and veg would be good.

  • Carl

    I would create an app revealing a new and innovative way to keep personal finances in check.

  • John

    Come get me is the name of my app. For friend to find me.

  • Boby

    I would make an app to make my school web application accessible for android users.

  • kenneth hansen

    I can haz bok...?

  • Alan

    I would love to make some apps to help ease communications between my school, the faculty, the students, and parents and perhaps some for students relating to classes (think WolframAlpha, but maybe not as great). I'll be taking Android App Dev as a Comp Sci Major next year in HS, so this would be helpful. :)

  • paul martian

    I would like to create a "APP INVENTOR" Wizard that will enable anyone to effortlessly create an app that meets their immediate or long term requirements with just a few clicks. For example, create a Calendar and Todo list that is completely customised to the user or business.

  • WideLoad

    I would like to make an app that could help at finding missing people and stolen property...

  • Ross

    I'd make a game about poodles and penguins having a war (a TD game) and then Kenny from South Park would appear and accidentally die in the crossfire and the game would shout "OMG you killed Kenny, you bastards!"

  • Rick Thomas

    You know that one problem you have when you do that one thing that one way? I will make an app for that.

  • Aaron

    I'd make a music/piano app. I've already started, but this looks like an easier way than eclipse.

  • ME

    I would love a book on devloping apps. It would really make things interesting with my programing classes at school.

  • Zachary Jacob Zblewski

    So... Will it blend?

    • Zachary Jacob Zblewski

      (That would be the name of my app by the way.)

  • Noah Bryant

    I would like to make something for the ladies

  • Daniel

    I wouldn't call it an app exactly. My idea is to eradicate the concept of a phone number which is nonsensical in this day and age. The goal would be that you have one app (People) vs Mail, SMS, Dialer and would be able to select a person and a method of communication rather than a number or e-mail adress and be able to connect with them regardless of the device they are currently using be it tablet phone or laptop it wouldn't even have to even be theirs (You would have to send a request first and have it accepted you wouldn't be able to just pick up the phone book and go nuts). It would be context sensitive, able to detect whether your asleep or at work and automatically set an availability status for you based on time and location to start and eventually heart rate, breathing even adrenalin who knows (e.g John is/at/is on Sleeping, Gym, Work, Tube/Subway therefore poor reception, mid coitus ) (Similar functionality to Tasker/Llama but a step up and autonomous rather than having to create rules and triggers it would "learn") it might have to communicate with some kind of wristband e.g nike fuel, jawbone up. You would also be able to set priorities for your outgoing communication and provided you are authorised by the recipient to do so alter the alert volume if they're asleep and its urgent or create a todo in their calendar. (I know some Israeli company demoed similar functionality but unfortunately went bust. Can't remember the name). Coupled with Terabit 5G Data and £/$10 Smartphones with 5,3in screens (one can dream) and your google account you could just pickup a phone anywhere in the world and be totally reachable with access to all your data. Apologies if this is sitting in the market already. As far as I know there are several apps that do some of what I'm suggesting but not all.

  • Irish McSmotPoke

    Ocean Fishing Tips N tricks GPS Hotspots
    home handyDfroid
    cooking 101

  • DoomsDave

    I would make an app that integrates my business and people around my town/ country.

  • Ethan Mad

    My friends and I (we're in high school) want to build an app, so a resource like this would be amazing.

    There's a kid in 8th grade who made iSketch (for iPhone), which made him $20,000 when he was in 6th grade alone. He donated all of that money to charity, and I think I'd like to do the same.

  • Gregory Becker

    I want to make an app that tie into my school's available parking (each structure has a counter accessible) and have it somehow seamlessly let you know while you're on the way to school.

  • http://probbieproducts.com P.Robbie

    I would love to have this book. I created some apps with app inventor when it first came out and I really need to update them and this would be the best information to do so. One of my apps that I would like to make multi player is "Pirates Dice"

  • http://none João Miranda

    I'm not a real programmer but i know a bit of it. I think this book would be great so i can start to develop a simple app to the company i work for, since it makes easier the task to people with less knowledge in programming.

  • Enoch

    I want to start making live wallpapers.

  • Apekaas

    I'm gonna make an app that revolutionizes the android market! But.. first I need to read Android Apps With App Inventor: The Fast And Easy Way To Build Android Apps to guide my way..

    Is Androidpolice gonna be my vessel of knowledge?


    I'd try to create a game, or maybe a ICS-themed web browser. :D

  • http://Leicester.K12.Ma.us Jeff Berthiaume

    I am a high school graphic and web design teacher that wants to use this in class next year. I would make an app for the athetic department... Bit the kids would probably make something to do with music or fashion.

  • Daniel

    Let my dream come true!

  • http://none scott benson

    I know exactly what app i want to make.but if i told you....I'd be telling the whole world......and I'd have to kill you.....and everyone else in the world....and then there would be no one ti use my app.....what a quandry.

  • Lateef

    If I were to win I would create an app that has the ability to exchange/share info and files through all possible connectivity like wifi, 3g/4g, bluetooth, and nfc(thanks to my rooted nexus s 4g)

  • Nathaniel Webb

    I'd create a great prefix auto dialer, that automatically added the first 3 or 6 digits so you can direct dial an extension.

  • Miguel

    I would try to create an app that shows you the different train stations around you, and calculate the route you should take when taking a train , giving you ticket price, and travel time !

  • Elden W

    A scavenger hunt type game

  • Shane

    I want to make a relatively simple app that tracks my cellular signal strength over time, indexed by modem/baseband. That way I can determine which modem/baseband is the best for my location. Of course I would share such a useful app!

  • AlexB

    Nice try, why would i share my genius idea so anyone can steal it from me. this is a scam by delevopers with no ideas hehe.

  • [email protected]

    I would really like this , book i didn't even know it was out , i was creating an app before Google decided to take it down... my app had to do with traffic , because we all hate traffic lol

  • Alex Yeh

    I would like ot make an app that enable the camera on tablet to be used for motion capture ala. Kinetect

  • Raghavan

    An App that allows me to send text messages to a large number of folks at the same time.

  • Jean-Luc Tendler

    Something simple that does one thing incredibly well.

  • Roger

    I like to make an app to help elementary school teachers.

  • Tyler

    I would love nothing more than to develop apps for the future that help people connect all of their electronic gadgets and devices in their home. Want an app to automatically start coffee for you once you put your toast in the toaster? There's no reason a coffeemaker and toaster and whole slew of other devices shouldn't be able to communicate with each other. All controlled from your Android phone or tablet, of course! =]

  • Jesse

    I would probably create an app that allows people to plan their social events better. Lets say you are planning on watching a movie and then head to some cool bar to dance, with the app you could see which pair of movie and bar would best fit your interest.

  • Vlado

    Solar heating Remote (i-net) control of my pool

  • Edward Wu

    I would use App Inventor to develop some simple web apps. However, I will still develop those more complicated apps with Eclipse.

  • Joel

    I would create an app that would connect all android devices together within your house. A centralized media hub.

  • erica

    I'd use app inventor to help my 5-year old son make games he'd like.

  • Micah Madru

    I want to learn how to make a few simple apps for the Wimm One smart watch. :) I'm hoping this book could help.

  • Thi

    Mine idea of the app is a worldwide communication app.
    - Add peoples and choice to be anonymous if wanted.
    - Chatrooms - Private with passwords protected or not. Ex @androidpolice and peoples can share news/help/chat/vidoes/pictures etc..
    - Private blods - click on person and read his/her blog.
    - SMS
    - Notications/push/sounds when a person logged in. If mess have been read. etc..
    - GPS map sharing - make the route and send it.

  • Kannan DV

    i will do project tools like agile tarcking,..... and sure that all of my app that i make will be free of cost!

  • saif

    i would like to create an education apps that can help kids that growing up with knowledge they need to know. It is quite usefull for their parents.

  • Sergio

    I'll create something to travel...

  • Owen

    Id make an app to sync notes online and on the app so i you need a link for later its there

  • AntzFH

    I would write an App for meetings, recording the meeting then analysing words, then it will spew out a few clever "buzz" words and phrases which you can through around during the meeting helping you look all clever and interested in the meeting. The App includes a game which you can play while its coming up with catchy phrases for you ....so while you are sitting all bored in the meeting you can actually play games ...and drop a catch phrases or "buzz" word just to look really engorged in the meetings details ....

  • http://150waystowin.tumblr.com/ krzaq

    I would like to make and app to design web interfaces - UX style. There are no apps like that on the market and I belive it's a niche. Still, an app like that would help me with my work and would be a good tool to help everyone out there.

  • Marc

    I would create an app to automate calendar entries and sync with google, if I know how, of course... I hope this book teaches me ;-)

  • Arnie

    I'd like to design a fish tank volume calculator and water change reminding app. It would work out the volume of water needed to change based on a few different percantages. It would also calculate the heater size required for the tank deminsions used and also calculate the lighting power needed.

  • Ray

    I'd make a strategic gameplay app similar to the gameplay in advance wars or fire emblem with a few twists!

  • Brian

    I have always had an idea for a strategy game. This book looks badass either way though.

  • Rafael Gómez

    If i win that book, I would firstly learn how to create apps and then, i would create an app that could calculate all types of algorithms and that could contain the theories of great mathematicians and physicists. I am studying engineering and I think it would be a great ahievement. Live for engineers :D

  • Jeffrey Griep

    If I win the book, I would like to put its resources towards tablet development. Considering the iPad 3 came out and there aren't any must-have apps for android tablets right now that would be my focus.

    Exactly what app would I develop for the tablet? Number one would be practical applications such as battery saving designed specifically for tablets and devices like the Asus Transformer with the docking station. There are some currently available but the user interfaces aren't very nice looking for the most part, and the good ones for tablets are pay apps. Number two would be widgets. I really desire some lovely widgets on my tablet and I would love to create some. Not only that, I would make these applications/widgets completely free. Why? Because this would give me the foundation and starting point to start my real project - which will be video game development, again, for tablets and HD phones.

  • mr.kc

    i would like to make an app for remembering the passwords for various applications

  • Simonw

    This is just what I have been looking for to get into app development as I have a few ideas but not a great amount of time to spare

  • http://firegolddesign.com Joshua

    I have a couple apps in mind. One is an interface for an online members' library for a professional organization. It would need to be able to convert PDFs on the fly to a more mobile-friendly format.

    Another app is an educational one that can be used to present courses involving video, text and interactive elements like uploading video homework, live chats with instructors, etc.

  • http://pirannafs.blogspot.com Jesus Leganes Combarro

    I don't have an Android app on my mind at this moment, but me and my colleages we are all the time thinking some little things hopping one of them would allow us to be rich... :-P

  • John B.

    Engineering design apps, definatly

  • Samir

    I would make an launcher customization app

  • http://www.sebrasil.net Davi Alves

    I would make an workout diary, i need to keep track about the weights i'm using :)

  • Iron Victory

    I can't say too much, don't want to give my ideas away... but I want to make an app that makes sure you never miss an issue of your favourite magazine, tv show, comic, etc...

  • KF

    want to make a very good and usable music catalog/integration app

  • Chris Dow

    Would love to make a homebrew recipe app for creating and tweaking recipes for brewing beer!

  • Rania Labib

    I'd like to develop an app that is related to Architecture

  • Adam

    I would create an app for Chemistry because it is my favorite subject in school!

    • Adam

      It would also follow the Android Design guidelines at developer.android.com/design :)

  • http://the404s.com Mark Nguyen

    This would be quite cool. I want to develop an app or two for the theater world!

  • Joshua Bell

    I don't have an idea at the moment, but I guess I'd think of something before I finish reading the book.

  • Allen

    I would love to create the ultimate security app, lots of features to protect my device.

  • Richard K

    I would love to make an app to control the function of your device to your own specifications, total control of your phone or tablet

  • Steve – Cheshire

    I need an App called that nags my daughter at Uni to eat properly, drink liquids that are not 40 proof and above, get her assignments in on time, keep her bank balance in the black and phone her mother regularly.
    Call it Virtual Dad

  • freddie

    I would create and app that allows you to spot ufo in our orbit or maybe can allow me to spot demons and angels or repetillians or playstation 3 coop games on my phone or any system and be on the same screen as them on the tv and also be able to save progress via usb.

  • Abubacker Malik

    I'll try and create my own version of siri (for android)

  • Andrew

    I really am looking to develop for Android, and I want to make an app like what Gowalla was...that would check into multiple protocols at the same time, etc. But that's only ONE idea. And I know that's much more advanced, but this would help me learn basics which I can then dissect and learn from in order to create more advanced applications.

  • Ken__X

    I would create an app which allows me to store my cooking recipes.

  • Rehan Ahmed

    I would create a emotion detection app which would take me recognize my emotions through the front camera and tell me what to do based on my emotions.
    Quite complicated but still nothing is impossible and with this book, it is very much possible I think.

  • Watson

    An intergration App for Music...

  • Jason

    I will make a fully functional time machine!

  • mynameisj

    my app will kick your ass, so that's what it will do!

  • http://samsung-updates.com Adam

    What kind of app? i would like to create a interactive guide of phone usage and hacking for model that the app is running at :) the user will have everything in one place and tested instead of searching over forums/blogs/pages to find solutions :)

  • Zach B

    I would be making a good student oriented planner/to do app.

  • Zach D.

    I've been developing android apps for a short time now, and I'd use this book to help me create some simple apps for my university (bus schedules/laundry times/etc). There's a lot of things I've been interested in building, but 18 credits kind of cuts short my time for serious developing.

    As for e-books or physical books, for anything computer science, physical is the best way to go for me. I like writing on things and being able to use my computer screen for developing only. :P

  • StuSchematics

    I want to make a "simple" weather app. Most people do not really need to know all the quantitative pishposh that weather apps provide. Why do you want to know the weather outside? So you can figure out what to wear. I want to make an app that answers this simple question effectively, including a cute little widget with an android dressed for the weather!

  • Aditya Jindal

    I would love to create a Twitter application namely TweetDroid just one as TweetBot in IOS. With experienced graphics and new interface.

  • Marc L

    I would like to make an app, that searches for the closest public toilet the moment i push the button.

  • Steve

    I want to teach my kids to easily make apps. They have several ideas in mind.

  • 9TEN11

    group chat/voip app that has amazing voice quality

  • aj34

    An app that keeps my workout schedule and calorie intake

  • Wayne Putterill

    I have aspergers and would build an app to help me manage my life and live more independently. I've tried just about every productivity app out there and nothing quite fits my needs, I've got some great ideas and am itching to implement them :-)

  • Kai Jones

    I would make an app allowed users to upload pictures and descriptions of medications as well as questions about uses, dosing, side effects, contraindications, warnings, etc and have that information sent to pharmacy students/pharmacits where several could reply and give the user a solid answer without having to look the web over for information and come up with incorrect or lacking information about their medication questions.

  • arun krishnamurthy

    I would like to create a TV App from free tv streams over the internet across the world

  • Aaron Douglas Charlong

    Here's hoping.

  • Diosdado

    I'd create a jump to conclusions app. Ha. Okay, a good crossfit journal.

  • van

    I want to make an app that will let you pick the best items for dota 2

  • Leonard

    I would like to create a app for school so that i can see which class i will have after lunch and what homework/exams i will have in the comming two weeks. I would love that app because i dont always have the motivation to do them, so if something (like my phone) is constantly reminding me i would fell much beter doing them.

  • Jason

    I want to build an app to help people prepare for business strategy consulting interviews.

  • modaniel

    i would like to create a sound meter app with spectrum analyzer.

  • Rachell D.

    I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to say something but my fiance has been talking about this contest non-stop for a few days now. If it's possible I'd like to surprise him by entering also.

    I think if I were to create an app, I would like to see some sort of math tutor app with chat features and a whiteboard for explaining problems in detail. Thanks! :D

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    10 winners have been posted!

  • scott braunworth

    Thanks guys for picking mr!