Google is opening up Android to the people.
The firm’s App Inventor tool aims to enable any member of the public to develop an app, even if they have no prior programming knowledge.
Startup developers are widely credited with making Apple’s App Store a success, and Google will hope they do the same for its Android catalog.
US schoolchildren have been testing the tool for the past year, Google said, and it is now inviting members of the public to apply to create their own apps.
“The goal is to enable people to become creators, not just consumers, in this mobile world,” said Harold Abelson, a computer scientist from MIT who led the project for Google.
Android app site AndroLib reports there were almost 92 million Android apps and games in the market at July 1, and predicts the number could crack 100,000 by the end of the month.
However that figure is still less than half the 225,000 apps available in Apple’s App Store by its second birthday on Saturday according to ITProPortal.com.