Setting Up App Inventor

You can set up App Inventor and start building apps in minutes. The Designer and Blocks Editor run completely in the browser (aka the cloud). To see your app on a device while you build it (also called "Live Testing"), you'll need to follow the steps below.

You have three options for setting up live testing while you build apps

If you are using an Android device and you have a wireless internet connection, you can start building apps without downloading any software to your computer. You will need to install the App Inventor Companion App on your device. Choose Option One below. This option is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

If you do not have an Android device, you'll need to install software on your computer so that you can use the on-screen Android emulator. Choose Option Two below.

If you do not have a wireless internet connection, you'll need to install software on your computer so that you can connect to your Android device over USB. Choose Option Three below. The USB Connection option can be tricky, especially on Windows. Use this as a last resort.

Build apps with an Android device and WiFi Connection (preferred): Instructions

If you have a computer, an Android device, and a WiFi connection, this is the easiest way to test your apps.

Option Two
Don’t have an Android device? Use the Emulator: Instructions

If you don’t have an Android phone or tablet handy, you can still use App Inventor. Have a class of 30 students? Have them work primarily on emulators and share a few devices.

Option Three
No WiFi? Build apps with an Android device and USB Cable: Instructions

Some firewalls within schools and organizations do not allow the type of WiFi connection required. If WiFi doesn’t work for you, try USB.

System requirements

Note: Internet Explorer is not supported. We recommend Chrome or Firefox.

Computer and operating system

  • Macintosh (with Intel processor): Mac OS X 10.5 or higher
  • Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
  • GNU/Linux: Ubuntu 8 or higher, Debian 5 or higher (Note: GNU/Linux live development is only supported for WiFi connections between computer and Android device.)


  • Mozilla Firefox 3.6 or higher
  •       (Note: If you are using Firefox with the NoScript extension, you'll need to turn the extension off. See the note on the troubleshooting page.)
  • Apple Safari 5.0 or higher
  • Google Chrome 4.0 or higher
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer is not supported

Phone or Tablet (or use the on-screen emulator)

  • Android Operating System 2.3 ("Gingerbread") or higher

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