Android – App development via App Builder, App Inventor

Android – App development via App Builder, App Inventor

In order to develop an Android app, you actually need programming knowledge in Java. The actual app development is not only feasible for professionals, but even as a beginner you can now develop apps without programming knowledge. There are different ways to bring an app to the Play Store. For example, you can use an app kit or the App Inventor.

Online Builders - A simple, fast way to develop your own apps

Anyone who has ever looked at the code of an app or any software in general will no longer understand what it is actually about after the first few lines. It takes a lot of learning, practice, and hard work to make a character jump or walk in a game.

Without previous knowledge, it is now possible to create an app. There is a whole range of modular app systems on the Internet. These online construction kits have a graphic interface and graphic elements that independently create the code behind an app or idea.

AppYourself, Good Barber and Shoutem are among the providers of modular app systems.

App builder systems are not free

App builder systems are not free. The prices start at around 20 euros per month. After registering, you can start right away with "assembling" your app. The functionality is easy to understand and you will quickly get a result. However, depending on the type, scope and length of the code, the result can quickly cost up to 500 euros or more.

But you have to take a close look at the app kits on offer. Because the proposed web apps are often just a mobile website.

Apps programmed using a development environment such as Android Studio are called native apps. Furthermore, a distinction is then made between the apps already mentioned, which were created using a modular system, and progressive web apps. While these look like normal apps, they actually run in a browser environment.

Another disadvantage of app builders is the source code. While you are the originator of the source code for native apps and have complete control here, the source code of the construction kit apps is not so easy to access. This has the disadvantage that you are always dependent on the modular system. Even if errors or bugs occur in the construction kit elements themselves, you are dependent on the manufacturer of the construction kit releasing an update. If he doesn't, you're almost lost.

The functionality of modular apps is also smaller. You can also access the most common smartphone functions here. But if you want to deviate from the standard functionality, you will quickly reach the limits of the construction kit apps.

App Inventor – Android kit programming, former Google project

Android – develop an app with an app builder, App Inventor

In hopes of encouraging more people to create their own apps, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) partnered with Google to develop App Inventor. It is now a former Google project, which is also free.

App Inventor is also an online construction kit based on the WYSIWYG editor principle. Here you can put together an Android app from graphical building blocks.

The acronym WYSIWYG stands for "What You See Is What You Get". That means something like "What you see, you get". Instead of writing cumbersome code with brackets, periods and more, there is a graphical interface with building blocks that you simply arrange as you wish. What you have arranged on the graphical interface, i.e. what you see, then happens in the app.

App Inventor runs on all common operating systems such as Windows, Linux or Mac. A current browser version and the installation of Java are required. The programming then works according to the Lego Mindstorms principle. You playfully design your first applications in order to dare later on more complex apps. There are various tutorials on the App Inventor website. Signing up to create an app is done through your Google account.

Program yourself - the more difficult method to your own app

The correct, independent programming of an app only works with previous knowledge of the corresponding programming language. Furthermore, you have to deal with the development environment Android Studio. You can also develop games natively. An example of a natively developed game is Levi the Knight. But as soon as you want to develop more complex games where you need gravity elements etc., you should rely on a game engine like Unity3D.

In our series "How do you actually make a game" you can read in six parts how a game is created.

1. Part How do you actually make a game Part 1

2. Part How do you actually make a game Part 2

3. Part How do you actually make a game part 3

4. Part How do you actually make a game part 4

5. Part How do you actually make a game part 5

6. Part How do you actually make a game part 6


The programming of an app is not even done quickly on the side. It doesn't matter which way you choose, whether online construction kit or programming yourself. However, the easiest way for a beginner to create a simple app without any programming knowledge is to use a modular system. For more complex apps, you need to delve deeper into the subject and learn a programming language.