MIT launches App Inventor Beta

Google‘s App Inventor has been reborn. The MIT Center for Mobile Learning has announced the opening of the Beta version of App Inventor to the public.

App Inventor provides a graphical interface for programming, thereby allowing users to create Android apps without the need for fancy programming skills. While Google discontinued its support for App Inventor on December 31, 2011, it tied up MIT to opensource the project.

Català: Interfície App Inventor

Image via Wikipedia

MIT’s involvement in the project has made it more class-room and educator friendly. MIT also plans to add several learning resources to its APP Inventor website.

App Inventor will now be suitable for any use, including running classes.

A list of education resources for App Inventor can be found here.

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.

Read more at Announcing: MIT App Inventor Open Beta Preview | App Inventor Edu.

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Box.net trying to create a developer ecosystem

Box.net has announced the launch of the Box Innovation Network, an platform to support and engage with developers who use the Box.net API in their apps. Following its 50 gb giveaway, Box.net now has 8+ million users and has evolved into a collaboration platform, providing integration with several enterprise applications including Salesforce and Google Apps.

Read more at Box Innovation Network: Innovation in Enterprise Software is Possible | The Box Blog.

HipGeo API for Location Based Apps

HipGeo has launched an API that allows iOS developers to the incorporate location-based features, such as geo tracking and tagging, of the HipGeo app, into their 3rd-party apps. This provides options which go beyond the check-in features that the FourSquare API offers. The toolkit also includes widgets that allow developers to incorporate location-based features in web apps and pages.

HipGeo widgets are the really easy way to add where to your when. With a little cut and paste magic, you can show where something happened with a cool popup map.

iPhone Screenshot

Image via iTunes

iPhone Screenshot

Image via iTunes

Access the API here and the HioGeo iTunes page here.

Read more at HipGeo Releases Public API to Add “Where” to Your “When”.

Linking business cards and LinkedIn profiles

LinkedIn has launched an updated CardMunch iPhone app. The app now allows users to scan a business card, add the details to their iPhone’s address book, enrich the information with data from the person’s LinkedIn profile, and take personalized notes.

For the first time, we’ll be connecting the physical world of business cards with the digital world of LinkedIn profiles, and helping millions of professionals everywhere take the world of contacts and phone numbers into the future of professional networking. We’ve also done a major re-haul of the CardMunch experience with particular focus on how we can make outbound professionals more successful and productive.

Image via LinkedIn

Read more at The LinkedIn Blog » Blog Archive LinkedIn’s New CardMunch iPhone App: Reinventing Business Cards «.

 

A link to the app is here.

Siri like experience now universally possible due to Zypr

Pioneer has released a cloud-based, Siri like platform, named Zypr. Zypr’s API provides developers with a toolkit to develop voice-enabled solutions for a variety of web applications, web services and social networks. By enabling single sign-on and multi-platform profiles, Zypr API makes voice-enabled web services mashups a possibility.

Zypr bridges the disparate worlds of mobile devices, Web apps, consumer electronics and automotive infotainment by bringing normalized Web services mashups to all of these platforms, with the added functionality of unique, conversational voice-control commands.

Image via Zypr

Using Zypr, developers can create mobile Apps that can use voice commands to access and mix a multitude of services, including Facebook and Amazon.

Web services currently supported by Zypr that can be mashed up and applied in new ways using voice control include Facebook®, Twitter®, Google®, Yelp®, AccuWeather®, INRIX® real-time and predictive traffic information, Slacker® Radio, Tuner2™ Radio, Wcities™, xAd™ and VoiceBox® with other services coming soon. As a Web-based API, Zypr works on all platforms supporting HTTPS access, including HTML5, iOS®, Android™ and Java®.

Access the API here.

Read more at Pioneer Announces Availability of Zypr | Zypr.

Google Translate iPhone app now supports 5 more Indic languages

Google just announced that its Translate iPhone app will support five additional Indic languagesBengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. While the Google’s quality of translation for all Indic languages is still quite poor, the support for an increasing number of languages must be lauded. These are sure steps towards the universal translator of lore!

Google Translate for iPhone now supports text translation among 63 languages, voice input in 17 of those languages, and text-to-speech in 24 of them.

Image via Google

Read more at Translate more Indic languages with the updated Google Translate for iPhone app – Official Google Mobile Blog.

Using Layar Vision to implement Augmented Reality

Layar Vision, which is an extension of the Layar Augmented Reality browser,  offers another means by which iOS and Android App developers can use Augmented Reality (AR) to interact with physical objects. Compared to the Qualcomm AR SDK, the Layar Vision API takes a different approach by pushing the image identification processes to the server-side and having a usage based freemium pricing mechanism.

Below are a few videos of the power and potential of this product.

 

Here is a video introducing Layar Vision.

 

More explanations of Layar Vision

 

A sample of three applications

 

Read more about the API and associated toolkit here.