How to Convert an AI Classic (AI1) project to an App Inventor 2 (AI2) project

Background

MIT App Inventor Classic will shut down on July 15, 2015.  After July 15, 2015,  you will not be able to access or edit your existing AI Classic projects.  It will be impossible to create new AI Classic projects.

This shutdown applies only to AI Classic (AI1).  App Inventor 2 (AI2) will not be affected.

MIT will not automatically convert your AI1 projects to AI2 projects.  But MIT is  providing a conversion tool that will help you convert the AI projects that are important to you into AI2 projects.

The converter is specifically designed to convert projects created with the latest version of MIT App Inventor Classic into projects for MIT App Inventor 2. Make note: project files developed on non-MIT App Inventor systems, or projects that do not run in the most recent version of AI Classic are unlikely to work with the converter tool.

The process of converting an AI1 project to an AI2 project has four steps. :

  1. Open your AI1 project in the MIT App Inventor Classic.  This will let you check that the project still runs, and it will cause the code to be upgraded to the latest version of  App Inventor Classic.  
  2. Download the AI1 project as an AI1 source file (.zip) to your computer.
  3. Use the AI1 to AI2 conversion tool http://convert.appinventor.mit.edu to convert the AI1 source file (.zip) to an AI2 source file (.aia).
  4. Upload the converted AI2 source file (.aia) from your computer into App Inventor 2 as an AI2 project.

These steps are described in more detail below. You must perform the first two steps before the AI1 shutdown on July 15, 2015. We strongly recommend that AI Classic users begin to download their projects as .zip files now, so you will be ready to convert them when the converter becomes available.  

Because of differences between AI1 and AI2, some difficulties may be encountered in the conversion process.  It would be a good idea to try to convert important AI Classic projects well in advance of July 15, as soon as the converter becomes available, in order to have time to deal with these difficulties.

You might also want to make screenshots of the designer screen and the blocks, in case your project needs to be rebuilt in AI2, or the result of the conversion needs to be extensively modified.  Keep in mind that AI Classic projects will not be accessible after July 15.

Conversion Steps

You will need to apply these steps to every AI1 project you wish to convert to AI2.

Step 1: Open your AI1 project in App Inventor Classic

The converter is designed to work on AI1 projects from the most recent version of App Inventor Classic and may encounter problems with older AI1 projects.  So first you need to make sure that your project works in the most recent version version of App Inventor Classic.  At the very least, go to the  App Inventor Classic environment, click on My Projects to get a list of projects, and double click on the name of the desired project to make sure that it loads without error. If there are errors, you will need to fix them.

Even better, test the project on an Android device or in the emulator to verify that it works as expected. The conversion process in Step 3 will try to preserve the behavior of your AI1 project. But if your AI1 project doesn’t work, then your AI2 project won’t work, either!

Step 2: Download your AI1 project as a .zip source file

Click on the My Projects menu again to get a list of projects, select the desired project by clicking on the checkbox to its left, and under the More Actions drop down menu select Download Source. This will download onto your computer a source file for your AI1 project, whose name will end with the extension .zip.  In the following example, an AI1 sources file named FreshPalDining.zip will be downloaded onto the computer.  

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Important Notes:

Safari > Preferences > General > Open "safe" files after downloading: uncheck.

Step 3: Convert your AI1 .zip source file to an AI2 .aia source file

You will perform this step with the AI1-to-AI2-conversion tool at http://convert.appinventor.mit.edu.

Step 4: Upload your AI2 .aia source file as an AI2 project

In the App Inventor 2 environment,  use the Projects > Import project (.aia) from my computer option (shown below) to upload the .aia file you made when you converted the AI project into an AI2 project in Step 3.

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