You can use App Inventor without downloading anything to your computer! You’ll develop apps on our website: ai2.appinventor.mit.edu. To do live testing on your smartphone or tablet device, just install the MIT App Inventor Companion app on your phone, tablet, or supported Chromebooks. Once the Companion is installed, you can open projects in App Inventor on the web, open the companion on your device, and you can test your apps as you build them:
The following steps will walk you through the process.
Open you the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on your device, or use the buttons below to open the corresponding store page. If you are on Android but can’t use the Play Store, you can also scan the QR code below to download the Companion app directly to your phone.
Android APK FileManual updates required
Scan this QR code (or click this link) to download the Android app directly
|Your device's Camera app can act as a QR code scanner, or you can get one from your platform's store.|
After downloading, step though the the instructions to install the Companion app on your device. You need to install the MIT AI2 Companion only once, and then leave it on your phone or tablet for whenever you use App Inventor.
Note 1: There are some differences between the iOS and Android versions. Please review this page for more details.
Note 2: If you are unable to use the QR code, you can still install MIT AI2 Companion on your phone or tablet. Use the Web browser on your device to go to the Google Play Store; look for MIT AI2 Companion in the store. Once you find Companion, click the INSTALL button for the Companion app.
Note 3: If you choose not to go through the Play store and instead load the app directly (aka “side load”), you will need to enable an option in your device’s settings to allow installation of apps from “unknown sources”. To find this setting on versions of Android prior to 4.0, go to “Settings > Applications” and then check the box next to “Unknown Sources”. For devices running Android 4.0 or above, go to “Settings > Security” or “Settings > Security & Screen Lock” and then check the box next to “Unknown Sources” and confirm your choice.
App Inventor will automatically show you the app you are building, but only if your computer (running App Inventor) and your device (running the Companion) are connected to the same WiFi Network. See a more detailed explanation of this here.
Go to App Inventor and open a project (or create a new one – use Project > Start New Project and give your project a name).
Then Choose “Connect” and “AI Companion” from the top menu in the AI2 browser:
A dialog with a QR code will appear on your PC screen. On your device, launch the MIT App Companion app just as you would do any app. Then click the “Scan QR code” button on the Companion, and scan the code in the App Inventor window:
Within a few seconds, you should see the app you are building on your device. It will update as you make changes to your design and blocks, a feature called “live testing”.
If you have trouble scanning the QR code or your device does not have a scanner, type the code shown on the computer into the Companion’s text area on your device exactly as shown. The code is directly below where the screen on your PC shows “Your code is” and consists of six characters. Type the six characters and choose the orange “Connect with code”. Do not type an Enter or carriage return: type just the six characters followed by pressing the orange button.
If your app does not appear on your device, the most likely problems are: