Getting Started with App Inventor 2 (AI2)

Once you've got all the software you need downloaded (If you are doing it the recommended way, by wi-fi on your router the it'll be AI2 Companion and a QR code scanner on your Android device and nothing else) you are ready to start with AI2. You'll need your Google Account which you should have set up when you got your Android device up and running and is probably linked to your gmail address. When you're ready, go to the front page of AI2 which is here:

and click on that big orange button in the top right hand corner that says "Create". Once you've done that it'll ask you to sign in. Use your Google account name and password. Next you should get to the project screen. It looks like this:


That's the project page for the site's account (yep, the site's got its own account, I've created a monster) and there's only one in there at the moment, a sort of spacy-shoot-em-up I'm working on which is a bit complex and might be done by Easter 2014 if I'm lucky. What will happen is that it will take me to the last project I worked on, which is that shoot-em-up and my screen will show this:


If you haven't got any projects going, the screen will prompt you to open a new one and you'll see the same thing come up with just a blank view where the spacy thing is in my screenshot above.

The AI2 IDE works in your browser and as you can see if you look in the top left hand corner of that screenshot above I'm using FireFox and I recommend you do too unless you've got IE 10 already installed. Can't have IE 10 on Windows Vista or XP, I don't know about Windows 7 but IE 10 definitely works on Windows 8 because my new, whizz-bang all singing all dancing laptop runs Windows 8 and I wish it didn't. C'mon Microsoft. Really. What were you thinking? Wasn't Vista bad enough?

The AI2 IDE (IDE stands for integrated development environment if you're wondering and is the piece of software above) works just like any other Windows Program in that you drag and drop the objects you want on to the viewer. Where it differs is in the layout. In this article we are going to make a hello world program later on but first we need to famaliarise ourselves with the components of the IDE.

There are six distinct parts to it. The first is the top bar, shaded red below: