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Upcoming App Inventor Features

Hello App Inventors!

We’re so glad you’re with us! We wanted to let you know that we are making some big changes to MIT App Inventor.

First, the next release of App Inventor will require Android devices running Android system 2.1 or higher (API level 8). We need to make this restriction in order for App Inventor to support new Android system features. We estimate that fewer than 1% of App Inventor users are using systems older than version 2.1, and we regret that we can no longer support the old versions: you’ll need to switch to a newer device.

We are also adding a feature that lets you customize the emulator. You’ll be able to change the size and density of the emulator screen, as well as add an external SD card to the emulated device. This will allow more flexibility when developing apps using the emulator.

We are also adding support for using Android themes in the apps you create with App Inventor. Themes let you customize the look-and-feel of apps by specifying things like things like font size, color, and padding uniformly throughout an entire application. This first release will focus on changing certain colors app-wide, with more granular control coming in future releases.

Finally, we’ve added a full palette color picker to App Inventor to make it easy to use more colors in your apps. When you choose a color, select the "Custom…" option from the dropdown list. This will open a color picker with a full range of color choices. After picking a color, click the "Done" button to finalize the change. Click "Cancel" to dismiss the picker and keep the existing color.

These changes also lay some groundwork for future improvements to App Inventor, so check back in the next few weeks for additional updates. For more detailed technical information on these changes, please see this document.

Cheers, and happy inventing!

Evan W. Patton
Director of Development, MIT App Inventor
On behalf of the MIT App Inventor Team