Google is bringing Android software development to the masses. According to the NYTimes,
The company will offer a software tool, starting Monday, that is intended to make it easy for people to write applications for its Android smartphones.
The free software, called Google App Inventor for Android, has been under development for a year. User testing has been done mainly in schools with groups that included sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergraduates who are not computer science majors.
The thinking behind the initiative, Google said, is that as cellphones increasingly become the computers that people rely on most, users should be able to make applications themselves.
“The goal is to enable people to become creators, not just consumers, in this mobile world,” said Harold Abelson, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is on sabbatical at Google and led the project.
The project is a further sign that Google is betting that its strategy of opening up its technology to all kinds of developers will eventually give it the upper hand in the smartphone software market.
The strategy looks on track. For one thing, Android phones are outselling iPhones. And the Android Apps market seems to be developing nicely, as this graph from Android Guys suggests: