Social media has turned many of us from content consumers into content producers. Tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Amplify have made the process rather simple. It is this simplicity that has become the catalyst for the content production revolution. The popularity of social media is tangible -- nearly 200 million domains and Twitter enjoys 2 billion Tweets a month.
Google is banking on the same voracity of content production to fuel Android application development. To that end, Google is providing a non-developer platform that allows anyone to build an Android application. In classic Google fashion the application -- App Inventor -- is a beta and free. The application was just released to the public today - which has been under development for a year.
Google has tested the platform with non-developers and asked them to create applications. The groups included nursing students, high schools students and university undergraduates. The results are rather impressive -- one application can text friends where you are every 15 minutes, another replies to text messages when driving - yet another makes emergency phone calls.
According to the AndroidGuys these user-generated applications won't find their way to the Android Market place. In order to post applications to the Android Market Place you would need a developers account which is not required for App Inventor. I did my own snooping around and tend to agree with the AndroidGuys.
The purpose of the platform appears to be more benevolent - a tool to spark the interest in software development. I can see App Inventor in classrooms giving young minds a simple platform to build applications.
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