Google has released tools that it says "make it easy for anyone to create programs for Android phones."
The do-it-yourself mobile app offering, which is available now in Google Labs
, is called App Inventor.
Google said it had been working and testing the system for a year.
The company proclaims that to use App Inventor, you do not need to be a developer: Instead of writing code, you visually design the way the app looks and use graphical LEGO-type blocks to specify the app's behavior. The graphical blocks represent the different functions and capabilities of a smartphone.
One tester, according to Google, used the tool to create an App that used the GPS locator, timer and database querying blocks to produce an app that told his friends where he was every 15 minutes.
Tutorials from Google are provided to help people get started with the tools.
The tool may well prompt a spike in the number of apps for Android phones which, statistics suggest, are already enjoying a healthy growth.
Figures gathered by one Android app site predict that the number of applications will pass the 100,000 mark by the end of July 2010, a ten fold increase compared to this time last year.