Android Development for Beginners 2

app inventor blocks editorIn this part of my Android development tutorial for beginners I will focus on the App Inventor Blocks Editor. I did my best to cover as much as possible in this one video. I also have pictures of the blocks below to help everyone easily copy from them.

I cover Location Sensor, global variables, changing label text, working with strings, Sound, Buttons, Event Handling, Text to Speech, Vibration, Accelerometers, Orientation changes, Dialog boxes, executing activities, and so much more.

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Assets Used in this Tutorial


App Inventor Blocks

Click the image below to see it full screen

App Inventor Blocks

53 Responses to “Android Development for Beginners 2”

  1. kerel says:

    Thanks For helping the BLACK MAN lol much thanks God bless.

    • Derek Banas says:

      I can say for a fact that if it wasn’t for the kindness of African Americans I wouldn’t be were I am today. I ran a grocery store in a poor African American neighborhood for 2 years. I’ll be 100% honest, everyone I was working with said I would be robbed, or killed. My suppliers would tell me that it would happen every single day. Not one time did anyone even threaten me once in over 2 years. I treated everyone with respect and guess what? That respect was returned. The man that introduced me to the person that lead me towards what I do today was also an African American. He was a man that was known for one thing which was that he was honest and a good judge of character. His word got me the job that set me free from the system.

      A little African American 8 year old child taught me more about life then anyone else ever did. When I was delivering food to a shut in she told me I needed to leave or I might get shot. I was devastated to know that a little girl like that even understood the concept of death. That changed me. That was one of the major reasons why I decided to dedicate my life to helping educate people for free. I have much more planned for the future and I hope I can in any small way help kids of all races to spend their childhoods loving the amazing world around them rather then fearing death. I can’t imagine what could be accomplished if more people in charge asked what could be done to help those in need rather then what can we do to help millionaires and billionaires accumulate more money.

      I believe more then anything that the greatest gift we can give to ourselves is to help others. That person that has devoted their lives to helping others won’t have to look far when they need a little help in the future.

      • kerel says:

        AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN. From this point on I definitely need to be more helpful because lately I find myself complaining a lot this year and that’ not normal. This remind me of the scripture Matthew 20 verse 27 (And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant) Thanks so much your story is definitely inspiring shoot me an email when you decide to write a book. Thanks in ADVANCE much love my brother.

        • Derek Banas says:

          I understand how easy it can be to get frustrated by the bad deeds of others. It is very hard to turn a blind eye. I’m not wise, but I do my best to follow the advice of those who are.

          I once asked a man that everyone respected what I should do when I feel angry. He quoted Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” He said that those words tell you exactly what to do no matter the circumstances.

          History forgets most people who were known for accumulating wealth. John D. Rockefeller was the wealthiest man in history. Can you tell me anything he did other then accumulate wealth?

          A thousand years from now I bet history remembers people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Socrates, The Dalai Lama, Confucius, etc.

          Doing good is always right πŸ™‚

          • kerel says:

            AMEN to that.

          • Fred says:

            I was on this site searching for information about Android but you guys have taken me aback..Believe me I embrace all that wholeheartedly. My player ye all may the Lord of Lords bless you abundantly with wisdom so you can continue bless others.

            • Derek Banas says:

              I’m very luck to have brought together a community of people that are so kind hearted. May God bless you as well πŸ™‚

              • Daniel says:

                Hey guy!
                Sry but can i have your Email?
                You are definately the kind of people i want to be friend with. While trying to lerd how to devellop in Android, i’m now thinking having some friend will be something more than good.

                • Derek Banas says:

                  The best way to contact me is through a message here or a PM on YouTube or Google+. I made the mistake of giving my email away in the past and now I get thousands of them a day.

          • Anonymous says:

            If you know about Mahatma Gandhi you should also seek some knowledge about Jinnah! And what you’re doing is absolutely awesome. Keep it up.

      • Rudy Vissers says:

        Woaw… Good people here… I am very impressed…

      • Darek says:

        Hi Derek,

        it was a very inspiring and moving story.
        I’m happy for you, it’s a beautiful experience, you certainly using your karma in a best way. I’m one of your followers.
        Thank you.

  2. Larry says:

    Hey Derek. Thanks for the great tutorial! I’m now working on an app of my own but am stuck. I basically have a multivariable equation where the user will input the data for the variables based on questions (i.e. how many pets do you own) and on the next page the variables are combined into an equation to output a result.

    So far I have globally defined my variables, set my variables to equal the text boxes the user inputs the numbers into, saved the text box values to a tinydb, recalled the tinydb in another screen and processed the equation but for some reason it is not working. Any advice or links to more in depth tutorials for this scenario?


    • Derek Banas says:

      Hey Larry, Are you adding the results and storing them in another key in TinyDB as you go? That is how I’d do it. Don’t worry I’ll be covering that and more very soon.

  3. Ze Beto says:

    Hi Derek.
    Would you mind if I share this series in my website? I already shared one.
    It’s only the video and I gave credit to you. I’m not copying any content besides sharing the youtube video but somehow I feel I may be doing something wrong for not letting you know that.

    • Derek Banas says:

      Always feel free to embed my videos and also you can use the code or any images from my site. I do this to help others. My website makes an extremely small amount of money.

  4. John says:

    Hi Derek,

    Hey thanks for doing this video on AppInventor for Android apps. It was cool and fun. I installed it on my wife’s SG4 phone and she laughed. πŸ™‚ I made some changes – just added the altitude and the wording to draw out the speech a little longer.
    I have some questions though.

    1. I looked through the AppInventor for a delay in the text to speech and could not find anything. I found the robot voice tends to speak a little to fast, so how would I change or add this.

    N.B. I was able to install it on my wife’s phone using the Build App (provide QR code for .Apk), but I also did what you said by installing it to the PC just in-case it did not work, but I was lucky it did.

    2. Anyway, my second question is more about after we create the app. Is there a way to save it so I can edit the app in Eclipse?

    P.s. I agree with your comments above. We are all connected and by hurting someone else we do an equal amount of hurt to ourselves. Our goal here should be to help others and show love to others and we all would be better off.


    • Derek Banas says:

      Hi John,

      I agree that we all benefit by trying to help each other πŸ™‚

      As per your question, I’m certain I can slow the speech because I did it before. I’m trying to remember how I did it and I’ll provide a fix in the tutorial soon.

      Yes we can get at the code, but in doing so the code gets a bit messed up. I’m working on a easy fix for that and I’ll definitely cover that in this tutorial series.

      Thank you

      • Darek says:

        Being able to port the code to another editor would be very useful. So far it looks like it’s not possible. App Inventor is an excellent program, but it has its limitations.

  5. skip says:

    Hi Derek. Just discovered your site and I’m blown away by what you do. I just installed app inventor and found it a little different by what you have. My version calls layout “screen arrangement” and my blocks editor doesnt give me an option for variables. I can create a variable under the definition option but cant call it global etc- is there a different version of app inventor I don’t know about?

  6. Ronan mac f says:

    hi at the start why is locationsensor 1 set to true and false? also can you go through available providers please

  7. Anonymous says:

    thank you derek for doing all this things without expecting the least return. all my life I’ve been dreaming of becoming a tech wizard and i made a decision to follow your tutorials. every time i watch your tutorial, i see my dreams come to a reality.thank you very much and God bless you.

  8. vidhey says:

    Hi Derek,
    The video was a great help. However, I am facing a problem in the AVAILABLE SERVICE PROVIDER code, where it compares to “gps”. This condition is always returning “FALSE”. Thus, even if the GPS is ON, it pops up the NOTIFIER. Please assist.

  9. Manuel Vazquez says:

    Thanks Derek,

    I would like to do all the coding on Android SDK (Eclipse) but this tool is just amazing and it is helping me to understand the flow of an app, probably after using it for a couple of times I’ll try to re-do it on Eclipse.

    Once again it’s 2AM and I’m still watching your tutorials,

    Take care!!!

    Manuel Vazquez

  10. Michael says:

    Hi Derek,
    Thank you for this tutorial. Started last night around 10pm and to be honest got addicted and kept going till 3am…
    I have a Samsumg SM-T320 which is the Tab Pro 8.4. When I loaded the program onto my tab could only get about half to work. Sound worked…longitude/lattitude did not although could see the gps icon in corner…turned off location and could not get questions to come up and as well button action was very sketchy. Running 4.4.2 android. Going to sart over and build again as pretty intensive but wondering if you had any thoughts.
    Cheers and Thank you.

    • Derek Banas says:

      Hi Michael,

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have a few AI apps I have made on my phone that I love. Some phones just don’t like AI for some reason. That is the basic response the MIT people give. i hope you have better luck with the other apps. A new Java Android tutorial will start soon.

  11. Michael says:

    Hello again Derek,

    Would you mind telling me what program you are using to do your tutorials?


    • Derek Banas says:

      I record with either Quicktime Player or Camtasia 2. I edit with iMovie. Everything I use is either free or rather cheap.

      • Michael says:

        I use Snagit from Techsmith all the time…great program. But Camtasia is not free and quite expensive in relative terms. Thanks for the info.


        • Derek Banas says:

          Yes Camtasia is the only software I ever needed to buy. I really needed the ability to record when I zoomed. It is a shame that Quicktime did this perfectly for free, but I mistakenly upgraded OSX. I haven’t made that mistake since.

  12. Gustavo says:

    I tried to do the Zombie app, but when I select ok in the GPS enable menu I receive an error β€œError 601: No corresponding activity was found”, I have a LG G2 phone (Android 4.2.2). Why is this happening?

  13. Amit says:

    I too am blown away by what you do

    • Derek Banas says:

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I get a great deal of pleasure from running this site. This year I’ll take it to the next level and start making free Android apps to further help people learn.

  14. sudath says:

    Hey Derek,

    I like very much about your teaching style. and i am sure this kind of development methods are need more publicity. so i am hoping to introduce AI using Sinhalese language which is mother language of SRI LANKA.

    Cheers and Thank you very much


  15. Bhavya says:

    Firstly, great job on these tutorials.
    I have a doubt with the block code, under screen initialise.
    What exactly does the ‘if’ check for when we put “contains text: Location Sensor1.AvailableProviders. piece ‘gps’ ”
    Like what would be the logically equivalent code expression?
    Thanks a lot!

  16. austin says:

    hi Derek you have been doing a really great job and a lot of people have learnt from it great job. I have a problem doe.
    my double quote doesn’t perform any action. (” double quote doesn’t do anything I use a windows 8 laptop) so is there any solution to that.

  17. austin says:

    oh found the solution tnx derek we all need more of these

  18. Paul Cabunilas says:

    Hi Derek Great tutorial.. everything seems to be working for me except the GPS location part. Im getting 0.0 for both my latitude and Longitude, but google map can locate my location.. Im using Samsung s4.

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