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Android Apps with App Inventor: The Fast and Easy Way to Build Android Apps

Book Description

Wi>Android Apps with App Inventor provides hands-on walkthroughs that cover every area of App Inventor development, including the Google and MIT versions of App Inventor.

Kloss begins with the absolute basics of program structure, syntax, flow, and function, and then demonstrates simple ways to solve today’s most common mobile development problems. Along the way, you’ll build a dozen real Android apps, from games and geotrackers to navigation systems and news tickers. By the time you’re done, you’ll be comfortable implementing advanced apps and mashups integrating realtime multimedia data from all kinds of Web services with the communication and sensor-based features of your smartphone.

Topics covered include

  • Installing and configuring App Inventor

  • Building modern, attractive mobile user interfaces

  • Controlling Android media hardware, including the camera

  • Saving data locally with TinyDB, or in the cloud with TinyWebDB

  • Streamlining and automating phone, text, and email communications

  • Tracking orientation, acceleration, and geoposition

  • Integrating text-to-speech and speech-to-text in your apps

  • Controlling other apps and Web services with ActivityStarter

  • Building mobile mashups by exchanging data with Web APIs

  • Testing your apps for diverse hardware with the Android Emulator

  • Example apps, including multimedia center, online vocabulary trainer, finger painting, squash game, compass, geocacher, navigator, stock market ticker, and many more

  • This book will empower you to explore, experiment, build your skills and confidence, and start writing professional-quality Android apps—for yourself, and for everyone else!

    Companion files for this title can be found at informit.com/title/9780321812704

    Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Contents at a Glance
    4. Contents
    5. Preface by Hal Abelson
    6. Preface
    7. Acknowledgments
    8. About the Author
    9. Introduction
      1. Structure and Overview
      2. Requirements
      3. History
    10. Part I. Preparing Your First App
      1. Chapter 1. Preparation and Installation
        1. System Requirements
        2. Login Data for App Inventor
        3. Installation of the App Inventor Setup Software
        4. Android Device Settings
      2. Chapter 2. The Development Environment
        1. Welcome to App Inventor!
        2. App Inventor Designer
        3. App Inventor Blocks Editor
        4. Integrate Android Phone
        5. Using the Emulator
        6. Start-Up Problems
      3. Chapter 3. Developing Your First App
        1. Creating the Project “LaughBag”
        2. Designing the User Interface
        3. Developing App Functionality
        4. Creating and Installing the App
    11. Part II. Easy Projects as a Warm-Up
      1. Chapter 4. Basic Terms and Central Concepts
        1. Properties and Property Blocks
        2. Events and Event Handlers
        3. Methods and Method Blocks
      2. Chapter 5. The AI References
        1. Component Reference
        2. Blocks Reference
        3. Concepts Reference
      3. Chapter 6. Graphical User Interface
        1. Displaying Text with the Label Component
        2. Triggering Actions with the Button Component
        3. Selecting Options with the CheckBox Component
        4. Entering Text with the TextBox Component
        5. Entering Confidential Text with the PasswordTextBox Component
        6. Displaying Notices and Alerts with the Notifier Component
        7. Tidying the Screen with the Screen Arrangement Components
        8. Actions at App Start with the Screen Component
      4. Chapter 7. Multimedia
        1. Media Access Options
        2. The Basic Principle: Synergy
        3. Displaying Local and Online Images with the Image Component
        4. Taking Photos and Displaying Them with the Camera Component
        5. Managing Images with the ImagePicker Component
        6. Sound Effects and Vibration with the Sound Component
        7. Playing Audio Files with the Player Component
        8. Playing Movies with the VideoPlayer Component
        9. Recording Audio with the SoundRecorder Component
      5. Chapter 8. Example Project: Creating a Media Center
        1. Ergonomic Redesign of a Media Center
        2. Multiple Screens for the Media Center
    12. Part III. On the Way to Becoming an App Developer
      1. Chapter 9. Program Development Basics
        1. Elements of Data Processing
        2. Using Colors with the Color Block Group
        3. Processing Numbers with the Math Block Group
        4. Checking Program States with the Logic Block Group
        5. Editing Text and Strings with the Text Block Group
        6. Defining Container Structures with the Definition Block Group
        7. Managing Lists with the List Block Group
        8. Controlling Program Flow with the Control Block Group
        9. Tips for Program Development
        10. Example Projects
      2. Chapter 10. Storage and Databases
        1. Saving Data Locally with the TinyDB Component
        2. Saving Data on the Web with the TinyWebDB Component
    13. Part IV. Developing Attractive Apps
      1. Chapter 11. Graphics and Animation
        1. Painting as if on a Canvas with the Canvas Component
        2. Animations with the Ball and ImageSprite Components
        3. Controlling Automatic Processes with the Clock Component
      2. Chapter 12. Sensors
        1. Measuring Orientation with the OrientationSensor Component
        2. Measuring g-Force with the AccelerometerSensor Component
        3. Determining Geoposition with the LocationSensor Component
      3. Chapter 13. Communication
        1. Task: Developing a Driver Assistance System
        2. Managing SMS Messages Fully Automatically
        3. Data Exchange via an Interface
        4. Mobile Mashups with Web Services
    14. Part V. Useful Things for the Developer
      1. Chapter 14. Special Functional Areas
        1. Application-Specific Components
        2. Dedicated Component Groups
      2. Chapter 15. Tips and Tools
        1. Supported Media Formats
        2. Control with the Java Console
        3. Setting Up the Speech Module
    15. Appendix. Additional Resources
      1. On the Companion Website
      2. Online Sources and Interesting Links
    16. Index