Here come the tools – mobile ones!

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In the last few weeks there have been some really interesting tools emerge for creating games and applications on mobile devices. These software tools will make it easier for the non programmer to create.

GameSalad

The first one I came across was GameSalad for developing games on the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. It is Mac only but has a very easy to use interface. The software is free to use but has a subscription model of $99 per year if you want to publish your games to itunes (which you need to do to get them on your device). There is also the option of publishing them to the web and using a web browser plugin to play them.

App Inventor

The second one I came across is App Inventor for Android which is not quite in beta but you can still sign up to access it in the coming weeks. It is a free, web-based software tool for creating Android applications.

As the video above shows, it has a very low entry point which is great for students starting to learn about programming and ICT. It is very interesting to note the style of the App Inventor application. It borrows heavily from other environments that students have loved using such as Scratch and to a lesser extent Star Logo. The App Inventor team acknowledge this stating that the “Open Blocks visual programming is closely related to theĀ Scratch programming language.”

App Inventor Code

What I am really interested to see, is what students can do with these tools. What a great motivation – make an app for your phone or ipod (I know not all kids haveĀ Smart Phones but there are a quite a few with iPod touches!)

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