Will we lose our App-etites?

This morning’s Observer column.

Google has launched a new online tool that may eventually make you wish you’d never been born. It’s called App Inventor, and it’s a kind of DIY kit that will allegedly enable non-techies to build applications for Android smartphones. “To use App Inventor,” says Google, “you do not need to be a developer. App Inventor requires no programming knowledge. This is because instead of writing code, you visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app’s behaviour.”

There’s a nice video that illustrates this point. It opens with an attractive young woman and her cat, who’s walking all over her computer keyboard. So she takes puss on to her lap and sets to work…