Hal’s Blog

MIT App Inventor Impact

Feb 27, 2023 hal's Blog

One App At A Time

MIT App Inventor Impact 2019-2022

Since its release in 2012, MIT App Inventor led by Prof. Hal Abelson has emerged as one of MIT's most widely used contributions to K-12 educational technology. It is part of the MIT-wide initiative Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education (RAISE).

Link to Full Entry

Introducing Aptly that Turns Ideas into Working Apps

Mar 21, 2022 hal's Blog

Speech To App

Speak Your Mind: Introducing Aptly, the Software Platform that Turns Ideas into Working Apps

What if you could create apps simply by describing what you want in everyday language? How might you use that power to improve life for your family, your community, the world? What would you build?

Link to Full Entry

Announcing Become An App Inventor

Mar 4, 2022 hal's Blog

Become an App Inventor Book

The MIT App Inventor team is delighted to announce the publication of Become an App Inventor: The Official Guide from MIT App Inventor, by Karen Lang and Selim Tezel.

(Release date February 8, 2022)

Link to Full Entry

Robert Parks to join MIT App Inventor

Jun 3, 2021 hal's Blog

Please accompany me in welcoming Robert Parks to the MIT App Inventor education team.

Robert is a curriculum developer, author, designer and teacher with keen understanding of student empowerment in STEM. His 2005 publication Makers was the first book on the maker movement. He’s served as senior editor for Wired...

Link to Full Entry

Welcome Anqi Zhou to MIT App Inventor!

Apr 15, 2021 hal's Blog

On behalf of MIT App Inventor, I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Anqi (Angie) Zhou as the newest member of the MIT team. Angie comes to MIT as founder and CEO of Dreams Come True in Shenzhen, where she developed online coding courses for kids. She also has previous curriculum development,...

Link to Full Entry

Change to Googles policy for the Play Store may require changes to App Inventor apps

Jan 11, 2019 hal's Blog

Google recently released a new Play Store policy that will affect some App Inventor apps. All apps that use the Texting or PhoneCall component AND are published in the Play Store must be rebuilt. The MIT App Inventor team is making a change to PhoneCall and Texting to help our...

Link to Full Entry

MIT App Inventor Team nominated for Distinguished Leadership Award

Aug 10, 2017 hal's Blog

August 10, 2017

We on the MIT App Inventor team are thrilled to announce that our team has been nominated to receive...

Link to Full Entry

Experiments with Virtual Reality and MIT App Inventor

Aug 29, 2016 hal's Blog

Interest in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications is exploding. Last month's Pokemon Go craze barely hints at what's coming. Should we look forward to App Inventor creating apps with VR and AR? < p /> I want to give a shout- out to Kseniia Shumelchyk , who...

Link to Full Entry

Welcome Mike Tissenbaum and Evan Patton to the MIT App Inventor team

Aug 8, 2016 hal's Blog

Welcome Mike Tissenbaum and Evan Patton to the MIT App Inventor team Those of us at MIT this summer already know Mike and Evan, but I'd like to announce to the entire App Inventor community our delight at welcoming two our new members to the core MIT App Inventor team....

Link to Full Entry

App Inventors debt to Seymour Papert

Aug 7, 2016 hal's Blog

To the App Inventor Community:

I join in grief with my colleagues in computing and education at passing of Seymour Papert on July 31, 2016. Papert was the worlds preeminent visionary in educational technology: you can read testaments to his greatness in the obituaries in the New York Times...

Link to Full Entry

MIT App Inventor and Youth Radio to launch the Youth News Network STEM desk

Jul 25, 2016 hal's Blog

Im exhilarated to announce that MIT App Inventor and Youth Radio (https://youthradio.org/) are beginning a 3-year initiative to launch the STEM Desk for Youth News Network (YNN). YNN will be a new nationwide model for STEM education based on youth-driven, multimedia journalism and related app development with App Inventor....

Link to Full Entry

Major computational thinking research project and new MIT staff positions

Mar 6, 2016 hal's Blog

See here for details

Link to Full Entry

MIT App Inventor Update February 25, 2016

Feb 27, 2016 hal's Blog

Click here to see blog entry.

Link to Full Entry

Two App Inventor tablets for under $100

Jan 29, 2016 hal's Blog

I recently tested App Inventor with two low-priced tablets, the Kindle Fire 7" and the HP 7 G2. Both of these work fine with App Inventor.  They could be reasonable choices for school or personal use, provided you have WiFi don't need phone calls or cellular connections. Here are instructions...

Link to Full Entry

App Inventor Extension Components available for testing

Aug 4, 2015 hal's Blog

The MIT App Inventor team is delighted to announce the availability of Extension Components for testing. We hope the Extension Components will prove to be a major enhancement to App Inventor: Extensions provide a way for anyone to build their own App Inventor components, which others can then use in...

Link to Full Entry

MIT App Inventor Classic RIP (Jan. 2012 - Jul. 2015)

Jul 15, 2015 hal's Blog

MIT App Inventor Classic RIP (Jan. 2012 - Jul. 2015)

Today we’re shutting down MIT App Inventor Classic. It’s been a great run. Even here at the end, the system is hosting 3000 active users a week. That’s down from 6500 in May, and vastly down from the peak...

Link to Full Entry

Guangzhou conference on Mobile Learning and Computational Thinking based on App Inventor, June 13-15

Jul 4, 2015 hal's Blog

The 1st International Conference on Mobile Learning and Computational Thinking Education, based on App Inventor was held from June 13th to June 15th, 2015, in Guangzhou, China.

Link to Full Entry

Mobile CSP Team Holds App Inventor Workshop at ISTE 2015

Jul 2, 2015 hal's Blog

Members of the Mobile CSP team traveled to Philadelphia on Sunday, June 28th, to host a workshop at ISTE 2015 (International Society for Technology in Education) on building socially useful apps in App Inventor. The workshop was attended by 30+ teachers, all of whom seemed to go away happy. Mobile...

Link to Full Entry

MIT App Inventor usage triples over the 2014-2015 academic year

May 24, 2015 hal's Blog

Here's a short report and graph showing App Inventor usage for the 2014-2015 academic year. Briefly, AI2 use tripled, and there was a slow decline in use of AI Classic. See report

Link to Full Entry

App Inventor Classic to Shut Down on July 15

May 24, 2015 hal's Blog

June 18, 2015 - The converter tool designed to convert MIT App Inventor Classic projects to MIT App Inventor 2 projects has just been released. Note that it is carefully, and specifically designed to convert projects from the latest version of MIT App Inventor Classic to projects readable by...

Link to Full Entry

App Inventor usage summary for 2014

Feb 7, 2015 hal's Blog

Here's a short report and graph showing App Inventor usage for 2014. Briefly, there was a large increase in use of AI2 and a slow decline in use of AI Classic. See report

Link to Full Entry

App Inventor honored with 2015 MERLOT Classics Award

Feb 3, 2015 hal's Blog

Its exceedingly gratifying to learn that App Inventor has been honored with a 2015 Classics Award, presented by MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) Editorial and Professional Development Services. MERLOTs area editorial boards curate and review works that they designate as Exemplary Online Materials. Each board annually...

Link to Full Entry

Welcome Felicia Kamriani to the MIT App Inventor Team!

Dec 14, 2014 hal's Blog

The MIT App Inventor Team welcomes our newest member: Felicia Kamriani, who has joined us as Education and Business Development Associate. Felicia comes to MIT with 20 years of experience in the field of education, with roles ranging from conducting research and developing online courses at HarvardX to training educators...

Link to Full Entry

China National App Inventor Contest holds final round

Nov 29, 2014 hal's Blog

On November 22, the 2014 China National App Inventor Contest for High/Middle School Students, which kicked off last June, held its final round competition at the Google office in Shanghai.

Here is a report by Kathy Deng of Google University Relations Education, China:


Dear All,

Link to Full Entry

App Inventor usage surpasses 100,000 per week

Nov 17, 2014 hal's Blog

See the report.

Link to Full Entry

The creation of live programming in App Inventor

Aug 26, 2014 hal's Blog

Mark Friedman, who led the implementation of App Inventor at Google, has written a note on how the Google App Inventor team implemented live programming, one of the key features of the App Inventor system. See Mark's note here.

Link to Full Entry

MIT/Google China Summer Workshops reach teachers from 198 schools

Aug 19, 2014 hal's Blog

See the report,

Link to Full Entry

App Inventor teacher workshops in South China

Jul 31, 2014 hal's Blog

Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
July, 2014

I’m writing from an App Inventor workshop at the Shenzhen Institute of Information Technology,Shenzhen Institute of Information Technology (SZIIT), one of China’s top technical schools, where we’re running a three-day App Inventor workshop for 40 middle school and high school teachers.  “We” are MIT...

Link to Full Entry

Job position with MIT App Inventor

Jun 19, 2014 hal's Blog

Job Code/Title: ED001/Research SpecialistPosition
Title: Software Engineer
Effort: 100%
Term: Initial term through June 2015 with the possibility of extension based on progress and direction of the research

Summary: The MIT Center for the Mobile Learning, a joint project of the MIT Media Lab and the Computer...

Link to Full Entry

2014 Technovation Challenge reaches 3500 young women

May 9, 2014 hal's Blog

From February to May of 2014, 3,500 young women from ages 10 to 23 spanning 45 countries around the globe signed up to create mobile apps to solve problems in their communities. They built prototypes using MIT App Inventor, wrote business plans, and pitched their mobile...

Link to Full Entry

Shay Pokress to join Project Lead the Way

Apr 5, 2014 hal's Blog

I'm writing with bittersweet emotion to announce that Shaileen (Shay) Pokress, our MIT App Inventor Director of Education, will be leaving MIT at the beginning of May to take up a position as Director of Computer Science Instruction for Project Lead The Way. Project Lead the Way is one of...

Link to Full Entry

Announcing the Bug finding contest winners

Jan 6, 2014 hal's Blog

Its with pleasure that I can announce the results of Decembers App Inventor Bug Finding contest. The results were so strong that we decided to award two first-place prizes. The winners are Arjun Santhoshkumar and Taifun Br. Arjun and Taifun worked hard to ferret out bugs, and they each identified...

Link to Full Entry

H***app***y New Year

Dec 31, 2013 hal's Blog

Happy New Year! Thanks you for your support for App Inventor and for your participation on these forums. We at MIT have closed out a great year: We met our major goal of launching App Inventor 2 before the end of 2013, and we're eagerly watching usage grow. More than...

Link to Full Entry

Christmas Gift: Merry Christmas and H*app*y Holidays

Dec 21, 2013 hal's Blog

Here's a Christmas present to the App Inventor community, from MIT App Inventor team members Fu-Ming Shi and Wehua Li. Christmas Yo Yo Fun is an App Inventor creation that you can download for free from the Google Play store. It lets anyone create Christmas cards by...

Link to Full Entry

The New App Inventor is Coming: Hunt bugs in App Inventor 2 and win prizes!

Nov 22, 2013 hal's Blog

Added December 3: Thank you! The contest is over and there were lots of great entries. We'll try to announce the winners next week. Were continuing to make progress on the launch of the new App Inventor system (pre-release name is App Inventor 2), where the entire system runs in...

Link to Full Entry

Upgrading Java for AI1 Mac users on Mavericks

Oct 27, 2013 hal's Blog

If you are using AI1 ("Classic") on a Mac, you should upgrade to Java 7 if you install Mavericks (MacOS 10.9). How to update Java in MacOS Mavericks (10.9) This information does not apply to App Inventor 2 users, unless you are also building your own version of App...

Link to Full Entry

Please help up test the new site for sharing App Inventor projects

Apr 5, 2012 hal's Blog

Ever since App Inventor was launched, there have been many requests for a site where people can exhibit and share their App Inventor work. MIT and University of Massachusetts at Lowell are collaborating on creating such a Gallery site, which we hope to launch later this year.

Right now, we...

Link to Full Entry

Announcing: MIT App Inventor Open Beta Preview

Mar 4, 2012 hal's Blog

The MIT Center for Mobile Learning is delighted to announce that we’re meeting our goal of making MIT App Inventor available as a public service in the first quarter of 2012.

For the past two months, we have been conducting a closed test of the system for an increasing number...

Link to Full Entry

MIT App Inventor mid-January status update

Jan 21, 2012 hal's Blog

It's been three months since we started work on App Inventor at the MIT Center for Mobile Learning and three weeks since Google's public service went offline. Here's brief progress report on the replacement public service we'll be deploying at MIT.

So far (knock on wood) our development effort is...

Link to Full Entry

Google and MIT announce open sourcing of the App Inventor code

Jan 20, 2012 hal's Blog

Google and MIT are pleased to announce the initial free and open-source release from Google of the App Inventor source code at http://code.google.com/p/app-inventor-releases/.

There's little supporting documentation yet, and we’re not accepting contributions to the code now. That will happen later, after the MIT Center of Mobile Learning opens...

Link to Full Entry

Help test the MIT prototype App Inventor Service

Dec 6, 2011 hal's Blog

The Center for Mobile Learning is planning to deploy a public App Inventor service some time in the first quarter of 2012, to replace the service that Google will be turning off at the end of December. We've just launched an experimental prototype, and we're looking for people to...

Link to Full Entry

Development Starts at MIT

Nov 8, 2011 hal's Blog

I’m happy to use this first post in our App Inventor Development Blog to announce that MIT work on App Inventor is underway, and even happier to introduce Andrew McKinney as our newly hired technical lead for the Center and for App Inventor development.  Andrew has a 20-year history of...

Link to Full Entry