Google App Inventor, the simplified Android app creation tool that went dark last year, is getting a new lease on life as an open-source project at MIT. The App Inventor source code was released by Google and MIT yesterday as part of a three-month project to create a full-fledged App Inventor server for public use. Eventually, MIT will be adding documentation and accepting contributions to the code, but for now a basic repository is available here. Users who download the tool are free to modify and redistribute it, as with any open-source software.
MIT's project is part of the Center for Mobile Learning, which announced several months ago that it would be taking over App Inventor when Google shut down the service on December 31, 2011. As a simple graphical interface for programming, App Inventor can be used to teach basic computer science concepts in a non-technical way, and has been incorporated into classes at Wellesley College and the University of San Francisco, among other places. MIT's App Inventor Developers' Blog has some more information, and will be posting updates and news about how to join an App Inventor pilot program.