Does The iPhone Have 'App Inventor' Equivalent?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by uraniumwilly, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    From Googles point of view, App Inventor is more for educational purposes than for commercial Android apps. For most people, crawling is a necessary stage before walking and running. A lot of competent professional Mac programmers started out with stuff similar to "20 GOTO 10" or HyperCard stacks. There currently is a extreme lack of such toddler sized steps customized to the Mac and iPhone paradigms.

    However the Objective C runtime interpreter is just itching for somebody to build a nice small set of Obj C classes/objects/messages that

    (1) is Turing complete (minus the infinite memory),

    (2) can be assembled to create a variety of interesting apps (to a kid),

    (3) hooks to some sort of Webkit/HTML5 UI on the front end, and

    (4) can each be represented by a nice graphical symbol that will interlock with the objects with which it must message.

    Just dynamically instantiate objects and do runtime message passing down the graphical program flow using NSClassFromString, NSSelectorFromString, respondsToSelector, and the like.
  2. forcesteeler macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    Google is trying to add as many apps as they can to compete with the 250,000 apps on the IPhone.

    Whats so funny is that Android Developers hardly make any money compared to a Iphone developer. I think the 24 hour return policy is killing developer pockets.
  3. bogorman macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2008
    AppInventor for iPhone

    Anyone know if there is anything out there for this?
  4. forcesteeler macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    Yea the Return Policy is a stupid idea. Its good for physical goods, but for digital goods its a no no.
  5. flasher79 macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2010
    I found this app called DataFon a few days ago. I registered for the Beta and played with the App. It might be do enough to cover what you want. Other than that its XCode all the way...
  6. Kitfer macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2011
    I think it'd be a great way for Apple to do market research

    Have a wysiwyg interface to make simple apps for personal use, if it works well then you have the option of sending it to apple and if they like it they can have an app developer write up a proper version of the app for the app store, people get the specific app they want, apple gets a source of app ideas and if they charge a small price ($1.29 perhaps) for the app design program then they get people paying them to give them ideas.
    A small fee to upload an idea would weed out all the shovel ware ideas
  7. Photics macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2011
    Why do you need to jailbreak to make apps? :mad:

    WHAT?! :eek:

    HUH?! :confused:

    NOPE! There are many other ways to make iOS apps without Xcode.

    I think GameSalad is actually BETTER than App Inventor. The basic version of GameSalad is free. (You only need to be a registered apple developer.)

    Basically, the "Professional" version lets you add Hyperlinks and iAds. If you don't need that, then the $499 annual subscription fee is not a problem right now. HA HA. I've made apps with Xcode. It's much easier with GameSalad. It's better suited for making games, but it can be used for lots of other apps too. I've made utilities with it. I think it could also be useful for interactive storybooks and similar projects.

    I wrote The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook, which makes it even easier to make apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The programming language for GameSalad is basically English.

    I think there are also other alternatives, like Flash (CS5), Corona and Unity. I haven't created a game with those SDKs though. Heh, obviously I like GameSalad better. I have been watching Corona though. It's a lot harder to use than GameSalad, and there are some differences in the features, but Corona has great performance... it even has Android support.
  8. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    Nonsense. Besides, real men/women use assembler....

    EDIT: RealStudio does well for Mac/PC/LINUX but not iPhone...
  9. Kallex macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    I was looking for App Inventor alternative for iPhone/iOS and bumped to this thread.

    Is the current status nonexistent, including any community/open-source projects trying to reach for this?

    The potential behind App Inventor is much greater than just scrap-up-simple apps, although getting the beginner-programmers to write well-designed applications is a challenge itself.

    However it does its job for reaching the masses, and it progresses to provide more technical reach than just for simple apps. It can be thought of as an semi-logic providing "UI" maker, where it seamlessly connects to "real-software" blocks.

    Google has relatively interested and active community around App Inventor, including also educational aspects.

    I would be interested to hear, if iOS/iPhone has something alike to offer, including any effort to put together it via open-source/community project(s).


  10. stscanlan macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2013
    Teacher Input

    I understand your plight. I am a computer teacher, and always want to get the kids interested in how the technology they love, works. I announced to my 10th graders today that on Monday we would start creating phone apps. There were cheers from the Android crowd and crestfallen faces from the owners of the IPhones when I announced that App Inventor only worked on the Android platform, thereby freezing out quite a number of would-be future programmers. That's food for thought, Apple people.:apple:
  11. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Why not just teach real programming? Teach C... or if that's too complicated for them, maybe Java. (Java, despite all the flaws I hate it for, may just be an easier first language.)
  12. MattInOz macrumors 68030


    Jan 19, 2006
    I was always thinking Sproutcore or Cappuccino would get a Dashcode like interface builder and make a great MobileAppLite platform. Just never seems to have happened or gotten much coverage.
  13. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Real programming wasn't designed to be taught. They were mostly designed by alpha geeks to impress other hi-IQ alpha geeks with some very esoteric or abstract qualities. For most real people, it's way too difficult to get any interesting or fun results from these languages before it becomes way too boring.

    Count how many art or philosophy majors are voluntarily in a typical intro to real programming class (as opposed to an Arduino lab), and the number will be close to zero, probably smaller even than the number of CS majors taking ballet classes.

    Someone needs to figure out how to do an iPhone app IDE using something more like Logo, or Smalltalk/Squeak, Kids actually liked playing with those languages. A smaller number of typical adults played with stuff like spreadsheet macros or Hypertalk.
  14. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    Many/most people stopped trying to write their own computer applications around 1979 when VisiCalc was created.

    HyperCard was a hack.

    iOS will never include an app builder.
  15. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    But an exceedingly popular hack (among non-techies) for such a poorly designed (IMHO) built-in programming language.

    iOS is an operating system, not an IDE. There are several app builder IDEs already available for iOS app development (some with lots of apps in the store built using them), just none designed well for educational use (or educational PR fluff... :)

    Certainly none designed well enough for "real programming", if that's what you meant.
  16. xArtx macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2012
    I always thought a BASIC or LUA interpreter would be nice for iDevices,
    then the time you spent making simple apps still wasn't wasted
    because the writer still picks up basic programming concepts that could
    be used later on if you really got stuck into it.

    Not much chance of that though... didn't even see any in jailbreak land..
  17. Albright macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Methinks you didn't look hard enough. Codea and iLuaBox are two promising-looking apps that allow you to build programs with Lua (though I haven't tried either), and there appear to be a handful of others if you just search the App Store for "Lua."
  18. xArtx macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2012
    I didn't even check the App store, they are supposed to forbid that sort of thing.
    Even the C64 emu had a hard time, and had to be crippled.
  19. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    That's not so. Apple forbids compiled code in the app to change. There's nothing wrong with having scripts in an app (thus how there are apps for writing and testing C code on the App Store... They interpret and emulate the code rather than compile it.)
  20. xArtx macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2012
    I'll bet there is still a catch with the above mentioned LUA interpreters.
    Although I haven't downloaded any of them, I'd be (pleasantly) suprised if
    any of them can be configured to run your specified script at startup.
  21. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I like that Codea app, going to try building something with it. Thanks for the link.

    I personally use Unity with Boldai's Brain Builder. It's pretty good for games. I have no coding experience whatsoever, but was able to put together the Pong tutorial in under a hour by just reading the guide. I learnt a LOT. If you can make a flowchart and do a little math, it's so easy to use. I'm very impressed with it and am going to buy the full package to play around with some more.

    I think just playing around with Interface Builder and making everything connect the way you want it and inserting the strings/pages/etc you need would be as App Inventor as it gets.
  22. FloatingBones macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    App Inventor now lives at MIT -- as do several of the Google principals that started it. They had a MIT-kickstarter campaign to fund App Inventor for iOS last fall. You can see MIT's discussion about the project here.

    Old discussion. HTH.
  23. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    A simple utility can often be done as a scripted web page or a web app clipping, no need to be an App store app to use or distribute.
  24. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
    We actually created a tool like this for iPad. It's called hyperPad ( It's mainly targeted towards media rich apps like mobile games. But you can do lots of cool stuff like send/retrieve data from a webserver (using http requests and JSON data).

    It's relatively powerful and our behaviour system is pretty much Turing complete. :) (one of our past employees actually created a mini compiler in it).

    It's also free to download so feel free to give it a try :).

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