Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

MIT App Inventor is a free, web-based platform for creating, testing, and sharing mobile apps. Build almost any Android and iOS app with App Inventor using a simple, intuitive, block-based programming language that anyone can learn.

The best way to start? Watch this overview video, then jump right in with a tutorial.

You can build apps that:
  • Play games with graphics, sounds, and interactivity
  • Use artificial intelligence (AI) on images, sounds, and text
  • Capture and process user surveys and charts
  • Navigate maps much like the apps you already use on your smartphone
  • Monitor sensors you place around your home or office
  • Activate internet-connected devices, and many other things

Once you finish building your app, send it to friends, family, or co-workers to test on App Inventor or package it up like any other commercial app (Android-only for the time being, but under development for iOS). Some app builders even sell their apps online (Android-only due to restrictions on iPhone and iPad-based apps)

All you need is a computer with internet, a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet, and our free App Inventor Companion app (iOS and Android), which helps you test as you go along. (There are also ways to build apps without a smartphone or tablet).

Software for smartphones and other mobile devices can address real-world problems globally. In parts of the world, mobile devices are more readily available than laptops. Some of the recent apps built for our annual app-building contest use artificial intelligence to promote climate action or use data science to help fight food insecurity.
Absolutely! Many aspiring app inventors have never coded before. A good first step is to try one of the Hour of Code tutorials.
Over a million people from ages 4 to 84 (and more) use App Inventor every month to bring their app ideas to life. Many engineers and research scientists — who typically use complex programming languages like Java, Python, and Swift — turn to App Inventor to fast-track powerful apps for research studies (here or here, for example), community programs, or prototypes for their business pitches (here, for example).
A small team of dedicated researchers and students at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) runs the platform day-to-day, 365 days a year — with the vital contribution of hundreds of App Inventor experts who volunteer through our power user and expert trainer community and contribute new features as well as help answer questions new app builders ask.
The site is supported through grants, collaborations with educational organizations, and donations from . . . “coders like you.” Please consider donating to keep this free resource up and running for years to come.
Education Questions

Yes, teachers who are new to coding often lead introductory coding classes and learn App Inventor with their students. We recommend that teachers follow one of the Hour of Code tutorials as preparation before using App Inventor in the classroom.

Click here for instructions on how to set up your classroom, a full set of curricula for App Inventor, tips on getting tech support from our community forum, YouTube videos, books, and more.

Teachers with experience in teaching coding or computer science principles might find the AP Mobile Computer Science Principles course useful. They might also consider participating in our annual Expert Trainers course.

App Inventor is an open-source tool, so advanced high school and college students could help solve one of the open issues in our open-source repository. Students aged 18 or older can also apply for Google Summer of Code projects to work on MIT App Inventor.

Teachers might consider participating in our annual Expert Trainers course.

MIT provides App Inventor as a free educational platform developed through years of intense research efforts. It is not a commercial product. MIT cannot assume any legal liability on your privacy even though we make every reasonable effort to safeguard everyone's data. Please remember that (1) we do not collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and (2) school districts use App Inventor for free without any contractual agreement with MIT. Learn more details in our Terms of Service, "Special Information for Schools".
Technical Questions

To test your app while you build, download our free App Inventor Companion app (iOS and Android) on your mobile device.

You can even test apps on a computer-based emulator without a phone or tablet.

The short answer is that MIT App Inventor generally works with most commonly available internet-connected browsers on most laptops and desktops. In some cases, you can even use tablets and smartphones to program apps. For specifics, read here.
Yes. People have been creating iOS apps with App Inventor since early 2021. Here are all the tips and setup instructions for iOS users.
MIT App Inventor will always be a free resource, and we do our best to address user questions and problems as quickly as possible. However, the best way to get a question answered is to post it in our community forum.
No. Although having a Google name and password allows you to save projects in a convenient place you can access from anywhere on any computer, we know some users will want to remain anonymous. You can log into MIT App Inventor anonymously at this link – Users can choose to "Continue Without An Account," and a randomly generated revisit code will be generated. If the user wants to return to the project later, they should copy and save that return code in a safe place because otherwise, projects created cannot be retrieved once the user has logged out.
By strict MIT policy, App Inventor does not keep any personally identifiable information (PII) nor ever try to figure out who you are based on your data. Your Google account details are retained only to allow you to keep your project files and only if you log in that way.

If you ever wish to change the way you log in and delete your email from our records, simply ask us, and we will promptly remove it at your request (but remember that you will lose access to your projects unless you download them to your computer first). More on this in our Terms of Service, "Information about You".
Our open-source code makes it easy to create a pull request on our public GitHub repository. Many of the components you see in App Inventor are the result of work by volunteer users and students around the world.