Beginner Tutorials

App Inventor is a free, cloud-based service that allows you to make your own mobile apps using a blocks based programming language. You access App Inventor using a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari). With these beginner-friendly tutorials, you will learn the basics of programming apps for Android devices.

You will need:

You will make a mobile app, so it's fun to see it run on a phone or tablet while you build the app (and after!). Some setup required to run your apps.

Choose which way you want to connect to run your apps, and follow the links to setup instructions:

  • Android mobile device (phone or tablet) and wi-fi
  • Android mobile device (phone or tablet) and a USB cable
  • On-screen emulator
  • If you hit any snags, we're here to help!

    Teachers: Get support and tips for preparing for using App Inventor with your students.


    Making Mobile Apps with App Inventor

     

    We have four beginner tutorials to try out. We recommend starting with Hello Codi!, but any of the four tutorials are accessible for novice coders. They can all be completed within an hour timeframe.

    For each tutorial, we have multiple ways of accessing them:

    • Click the tutorial link to open up a project directly in the App Inventor environment with the tutorial in the sidebar. This is our recommended way to complete the tutorials. Note that each of these can also be used for Hour of Code events.
    • If you prefer, you can click on the video links to follow the tutorial in a video. Please note, this requires you have two windows open in the browser - one to play the video, and one to run App Inventor.
    • We also have links to pdf files for each tutorial, for those of you who prefer following text instructions.

    After building the starter apps, which will take around an hour, you can move on to extending them with more functionality, or you can start building apps of your own design.

     

    Name

    Tutorial

    Video

    Text

    Hello Codi!

    Get started by making Codi the Bee buzz when touched!

    No video for this tutorial

    Talk to Me (2 parts)

    Text to Speech is surprisingly fun. Find out for yourself with this starter app that talks.

    Talk to Me (Part 2)

     

    Ball Bounce

    Fling, Flang, Flung? Whatever you call it, bouncing the ball around the screen is pure fun.

    Digital Doodle

    Who needs paper? Doodle all day on your phone's screen.

    Is YouTube blocked in your school? See the videos above on Vimeo instead of YouTube

    Trouble with the Text-To-Speech player on your phone? Get help here.


    What's Next?

    You just made some pretty cool apps! But now the real fun begins: try turning TalkToMe into a Magic 8 Ball; turn BallBounce into a Mini Golf game, take DigitalDoodle to the next level by adding colors and incorporating pictures as backgrounds in PaintPot. The possibilities really are endless!

    See the full collection of Tutorials for more ideas.