Google Labs has launched a new tool designed to make it easy for anyone to create their own mobile app.

Writing on the Official Google Blog, engineer Mark Freidman said the App Inventor for Android opens up a world of computer programming to those without specialist knowledge or experience.

He pointed to the experience of David Wolber, a professor of computer science at the University of San Francisco, who participated in the initial year-long testing programme for the tool.

Even people who had been "traditionally intimidated by technology" were "motivated and excited" by the chance to program using the App Inventor, Professor Wolber reported.

Brands could be interested in developing apps that tie-in with their existing online marketing services, as the mobile internet audience is set to grow substantially as smartphone use increases.

According to the recent BoomBox report from Myxer, women completed 4.5 million mobile downloads in April, compared to 2.2 million for men.

Female smartphone users also downloaded 17 per cent more apps than males during the month.

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