You can set up App Inventor and start building apps in minutes. The Designer and Blocks Editor run completely in the browser (aka the cloud). To see your app on a device while you build it (also called “Live Testing”), you’ll need to follow the steps below.
You have four options for setting up live testing while you build apps
If you are using a smartphone or tablet device and you have a wireless internet connection,
you can start building apps without downloading any software to your computer. You will need to install
the MIT App Inventor companion app on your iOS or Android device. Choose Option One below. This choice is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.
If you have a Android-capable Chromebook, choose Option Two below.
If you do not have a smartphone or tablet, you will need to install software on your computer so that you can use an on-screen Android emulator. Choose Option Three below.
If you have an Android device but do not have a wireless internet connection, you’ll need to install software on your computer so that you can connect to your Android device over USB. Choose Option Three below. The USB Connection option can be tricky, especially on Windows. Use this as a last resort.
Option One - RECOMMENDED
Build apps with your iOS or Android device using a WiFi Connection (preferred): Instructions
If you have a computer, a smartphone or tablet, and a
WiFi connection, this is the easiest way to build and test your
apps on the device.
Build apps with a Chromebook: Instructions
Many Chromebooks are capable of running Android apps. That lets you build and run the finished app on the same device.
Don't have a device? Use the Emulator: Instructions
If you dont have a phone or tablet handy, you can still use App Inventor. Have a class of 30 students? Have them work primarily on emulators and share a few devices.
No WiFi? Build apps with an Android device and USB Cable: Instructions
Some firewalls within schools and organizations do not allow the type of WiFi connection required. If WiFi doesnt work for you, try USB.
Note: Internet Explorer is not supported. We recommend Chrome or Firefox.
Computer and operating system
- Macintosh (with Intel processor): Mac OS X 10.5 or higher
- Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
- GNU/Linux: Ubuntu 8 or higher, Debian 5 or higher (Note: GNU/Linux live development is only supported for WiFi connections between computer and smartphone/tablet.)
- Mozilla Firefox 3.6 or higher
(Note: If you are using Firefox with the NoScript extension, you’ll need to turn the extension off. See the note on the troubleshooting page.)
- Apple Safari 5.0 or higher
- Google Chrome 4.0 or higher
- Note: Microsoft Internet Explorer is not supported
Phone or Tablet (or use the on-screen emulator)
- iOS 9.0 or later on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
- macOS 11 or higher on computers with Apple M1 Silicon
- Android Operating System 2.1 (“Eclair”) or higher for Android devices