The MIT Center for Mobile Learning has just announced that they are meeting their 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 of testers, and we’ve currently scaled to 5000 testers. Today, we’re taking the next step, and opening the MIT App Inventor service to everyone. All you will need is a Google ID for log-in (for example, a Gmail account).
App Inventor will now be suitable for any use, including running classes. But please be aware that this is the first time the system will be under load from a large number of users, so there may be bumps and adjustments as the load increases. For now, we suggest that you maintain backup copies of important apps, as we see how things go.
Of course, there are glitches and minor errors and lots of room for improvement. We’ll be turning our attention to these improvements, once we have more experience with running the system at scale. We will also be developing more resources and support for using App Inventor as a learning tool. We look forward to working with you over the coming months to build the community of App Inventor educators.
We owe a large debt to our testers of the past few months; it’s been their feedback that’s given us the confidence for today’s announcement. And we’re tremendously grateful to the folks who have been running their own system with the MIT JAR files. Their experiences have been an invaluable source of information, and their work has been critical in keeping App Inventor alive while the MIT service was not yet available. We also want to acknowledge the growing group of developers who are starting to explore the App Inventor source code. They are the seeds of an open source community that we hope will take App Inventor beyond anything we could do by ourselves at MIT. And our extreme gratitude and admiration goes to the Google App Inventor team who, even while their project transitions out of Google, have continued to share their expertise and the fruit of their hard work of the past three years.
Please join with us in helping the system move to its next phase as an MIT service. You can learn about MIT App Inventor by visiting our new home at http://appinventor.mit.edu.