google-android-phone-prototypeBy Karen Axelton

Are you considering developing a smartphone app for your business? It’s about to get easier with Google’s announcement of App Inventor for Android.

According to Information Week SMB, App Inventor is a visual programming tool that enables even users without programming experience to create applications for Google’s Android smartphones.

App Inventor gives developers access to GPS, accelerometer, and orientation data, telephony services including phone calls and texting, speech-to-text services, contact data, persistent storage and Web services such as those provided by Amazon and Twitter.

Apple still has the lead with about 200,000 iPhone apps, but the company has been putting increasing restrictions on app development. In contrast, Google’s move opens the Android field even further. Already, the number of Android apps has increased tenfold from a year ago, to nearly 100,000.

Want to check out App Inventor? Sign up with your Gmail address; Google will grant access in the next few weeks.