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Component Release (nb169) Coming on Wednesday July 11th

We are planning to do a “Component” Release of MIT App Inventor on Wednesday July 11th sometime in the evening (U.S. East Coast Time, GMT-4). This will be release “nb169.”

A Component Release is an update to MIT App Inventor that also updates the MIT AI2 Companion application. A non-Component release is where we only change software in the MIT App Inventor application itself. The software that runs on devices in packaged apps is not updated. As such, non-component releases do not tend to be disruptive.

A Component release on the other hand is just a little disruptive because you need to update the MIT AI2 Companion application. In general old versions will mostly work with a component update, but there is no guarantee.

There are two ways to obtain and install an update to the MIT AI2 Companion. If you installed the Companion from the Google Play Store, you can update it from Google Play (we do not perform the actual release until we know that the Companion application is updated in the Play store). If you have your device set to auto-update, the update should happen without your intervention, though it may take some hours. If you are using MIT App Inventor around the time of the release, you may need to go to the Play Store application and manually do the update.

The other way people obtain the MIT AI2 Companion application is directly from the MIT App Inventor website. The Help->Companion Information menu item will give you a URL you can click on to download the latest Companion as well as a QR Code you can scan from your phone/tablet to “side load” the Companion. Alternatively you can connect MIT App Inventor to your existing Companion and use the Help->”Update the Companion” menu item and the system will download the update directly to your phone/tablet.

Here is the list of things that have changed (which will also be included in the Release Notes when we perform the release. The exact list is subject to change):

  • CloudDB: The DataChanged event now can handle images.
  • WebViewer: A new event “WebViewStringChange” is fired when the “webviewstring” is updated within the webviewer.
  • FusionTablesControl: The dialog that displays while FusionTables is working can be suppressed or have its wording changed.
  • Slider: Fixes for some versions of Android.
  • Added the “Break” block which can be used to exit a “while” or “for each” loop pre-maturely.
  • Maps: Fixes the Compass location and to the Zoom controls (which didn’t work on some versions of Android).
    • Maps can now be rotated programmatically using blocks.
  • BackPack: Individual items can now be removed instead of having to completely empty the backback to remove items.
  • Clock: Added more flexibility to “DateValue” and “FormatDateTime.”
  • Notifier: Implement ChoosingCanceled and TextInputCanceled.
    • You can now get events when a dialog is canceled.
  • Web: Added a UriDecode function.
  • Bugfixes and overall Performance Improvements