Using App Inventor on iPad for Development


we’re a working with App Inventor in school classes on iPads. The overall experience is very well and students are able to develop their apps. Unfortunately we encountered a problem with the GUI:

  1. We are using 2018 iPads on iOS 13.3.1
  2. We usually work with Safari – but encountered the same issues in Firefox or Chrome for iPad
  3. The problem occurs in block editor: Especially if there are a lot of blocks placed in a very short time the GUI stops working. So it is not possible to add new blocks and also the top menu is noch working anymore.

I did a video when trying to reproduce it. I just jumped through the blocks categories, added random blocks in a short time period and after adding some blocks the GUI stops working.

Of course our students don’t do that, but somehow they got the same error working on their projects. Reloading the web-app is solving the problem and the GUI is working again.

I’ve tried to reproduce the bug on a PC – but I had no issues here. Unfortunately we do not have computers available at school, only iPads.

Do you have any idea, why this issue occurs and how to fix it?

Thank you and kind regards,.

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Update: I tested this issue from another location with different internet connection and had the same problem. So it seems there is no difference in faster or slower internet connections (as I had thought earlier, that the GUI stops working when packages are missing or delayed)…

@Agajon The issue with Blockly having issues on iPads is known. We’ll wait to see what the Blockly team comes up with to fix it.

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Continuing the discussion from Using App Inventor on iPad for Development:

@ewpatton Blockly did not come up with a solution yet (and they could only reproduce it for iOS 12), but I did some testing in the meanwhile in App Inventor and Blockly:

I’m still able to reproduce the freezing GUI in App Inventor (nb183c) with an iPad on iOS 13.4.

But I was never able to produce a freezing GUI on “Try Blocky” at

So it seems to me, that there is some problem with the implementation of Blockly in App Inventor?

Thanks for reporting back @Agajon. I have been able to reproduce the issue, but not reliably. I’ll see what we can do about fixing it. We’re also in the process of updating our version of Blockly, so it’s possible that this won’t be an issue any longer once we are back in sync with Google’s production version.

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Hey everyone,

So I appear to be late to this and getting my bearings, but where is the status for having AppInventor for iPad. Is there a download package that I could have access to? Is it publicly available? Want to test it out with my class for a project in the near future.

Hello Agajon
I am also trying to teach using ipads. I have been told by MIT that it should be easy to run the aiAppInventor AND see the app working on the ipad. Just download it from the Apple store, they say. Well, I can download and use the aiAppInventor, but I can't seem to find a way to make the app actually run on the same machine. I've tried typing in the 6 digit code and downloading the project, but I just get a blank screen. What am I missing here? Can you help?

I don't think it is a good idea to run App Inventor and the AI Companion on the same mobile device. I tried that before, and the companion often disconnects because of constant switching apps. If you only have iPads, try using different iPads. If you have a computer, open your project on the computer and test it on your iPad.

Thanks Gordon. This means it is almost impossible to teach a class with ipads because it's impractical to have 2 devices on their desks and most schools ban the use of mobiles in class. Agajon seemed to suggest he was doing it...Shame.

Hi @Aydin,

we're using the iPads only for development and have bought some cheap Android smartphones for testing. When we startet our project, the companion app was only available for Android so we haven't really thought about using the same device for developing and testing.

I have one suggestion for you: Is it possible to use the browser and the companion app in split view on your iPads? So you will have the companion on one side, and the browser (in a larger viewport) on the other side. Then both views are active and the problem Gordon has mentioned might not occur? But I don't know how usability-friendly it is, because the part where the students are developing might be to small. But it seems worth to try it out?

Regards, Florian

That should be OK if you use split mode, because the iPad in the App Inventor for iOS's official blog is using the split view.


Just now tested, OK with split view in Chrome.