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Android Apps with App Inventor: The Fast and Easy Way to Build Android Apps

By Jörg H. Kloss

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional

Published Date: Feb 22, 2012

Description

This is the eBook version of the printed book.

With Google's App Inventor for Android, practically anyone can create robust, modern apps for Android smartphones and other Android devices. Now, for the first time, there's a comprehensive guide to App Inventor for everyone who can benefit from it: working developers and non-developers alike. This uniquely comprehensive book teaches through hands-on examples and detailed walkthroughs covering the entire development process. After installing and setting up their App Inventor environments, readers will learn how to build apps that incorporate audio, video, data storage, graphics, animation, phone features, SMS and email messaging, voice recognition and output, data exchange via web services, cameras, GPS navigation, sensory inputs, and more. The final section brings together all this knowledge in five start-to-finish app projects that cover a wide spectrum of app development opportunities, from games to geotracking.

Table of Contents

Preface by Hal Abelson xv

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Author xxiii

 

Introduction 1

Structure and Overview 2

Requirements 5

History 5

 

Part I: Preparing Your First App 13

 

Chapter 1: Preparation and Installation 15

System Requirements 17

Login Data for App Inventor 27

Installation of the App Inventor Setup Software 29

Android Device Settings 33

 

Chapter 2: The Development Environment 39

Welcome to App Inventor! 40

App Inventor Designer 41

App Inventor Blocks Editor 53

Integrate Android Phone 63

Using the Emulator 69

Start-Up Problems 72

 

Chapter 3: Developing Your First App 81

Creating the Project “LaughBag” 82

Designing the User Interface 84

Developing App Functionality 97

Creating and Installing the App 107

 

Part II: Easy Projects as a Warm-Up 131

 

Chapter 4: Basic Terms and Central Concepts 133

Properties and Property Blocks 133

Events and Event Handlers 135

Methods and Method Blocks 137

 

Chapter 5: The AI References 139

Component Reference 139

Blocks Reference 143

Concepts Reference 145

 

Chapter 6: Graphical User Interface 147

Displaying Text with the Label Component 147

Triggering Actions with the Button Component 150

Selecting Options with the CheckBox Component 153

Entering Text with the TextBox Component 158

Entering Confidential Text with the PasswordTextBox Component 161

Displaying Notices and Alerts with the Notifier Component 164

Tidying the Screen with the Screen Arrangement Components 167

Actions at App Start with the Screen Component 171

 

Chapter 7: Multimedia 175

Media Access Options 175

The Basic Principle: Synergy 178

Displaying Local and Online Images with the Image Component 179

Taking Photos and Displaying Them with the Camera Component 183

Managing Images with the ImagePicker Component 188

Sound Effects and Vibration with the Sound Component 192

Playing Audio Files with the Player Component 195

Playing Movies with the VideoPlayer Component 199

Recording Audio with the SoundRecorder Component 203

 

Chapter 8: Example Project: Creating a Media Center 211

Ergonomic Redesign of a Media Center 211

Multiple Screens for the Media Center 215

 

Part III: On the Way to Becoming an App Developer 221

 

Chapter 9: Program Development Basics 223

Elements of Data Processing 224

Using Colors with the Color Block Group 227

Processing Numbers with the Math Block Group 229

Checking Program States with the Logic Block Group 232

Editing Text and Strings with the Text Block Group 234

Defining Container Structures with the Definition Block Group 241

Managing Lists with the List Block Group 247

Controlling Program Flow with the Control Block Group 252

Tips for Program Development 267

Example Projects 278

 

Chapter 10: Storage and Databases 305

Saving Data Locally with the TinyDB Component 306

Saving Data on the Web with the TinyWebDB Component 313

 

Part IV: Developing Attractive Apps 327

 

Chapter 11: Graphics and Animation 329

Painting as if on a Canvas with the Canvas Component 330

Animations with the Ball and ImageSprite Components 345

Controlling Automatic Processes with the Clock Component 358

 

Chapter 12: Sensors 375

Measuring Orientation with the OrientationSensor Component 376

Measuring g-Force with the AccelerometerSensor Component 387

Determining Geoposition with the LocationSensor Component 403

 

Chapter 13: Communication 433

Task: Developing a Driver Assistance System 434

Managing SMS Messages Fully Automatically 450

Data Exchange via an Interface 462

Mobile Mashups with Web Services 487

 

Part V: Useful Things for the Developer 511

 

Chapter 14: Special Functional Areas 513

Application-Specific Components 513

Dedicated Component Groups 518

 

Chapter 15: Tips and Tools 527

Supported Media Formats 527

Control with the Java Console 530

Setting Up the Speech Module 535

 

Appendix: Additional Resources 541

On the Companion Website 541

Online Sources and Interesting Links 542

 

Index 545

Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-13-290658-9

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-290658-6

Format: eBook (Watermarked)?

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