If you’ve found yourself reading this article today, it’s probably because you’re familiar with Glide Apps. At a glance, most people discovering Glide think it’s a pretty revolutionary concept: a platform that allows you to build apps with absolutely no code knowledge whatsoever. It sounds magical to be able to have an app without requiring the help of a full-fledged development team and the astronomical resources that it usually takes.
That’s why we’ve created this extensive guide to Glide for you: it really is a revolution. With Glide, you can create as many beautiful and powerful apps as you like, and we are going to show you how. Here at LowCode Agency, we are THE experts at curating tailored Glide apps for our clients, so we reckon we’ve got a thing or two to teach our community about them. This is your ultimate guide to Glide Apps – let’s dive right in.
What is Glide? A quick word
Glide is a no-code tool that allows its users to effortlessly create mobile apps. These apps are called progressive web apps (PWA), and they are easily shareable through a URL that you can send to anyone.
Here at LowCode Agency, we’re the Glide experts who can create your perfect Glide app for you, anytime. Some users realize that they’re not able to find what they’re looking for in Glide’s library of over 400 templates available to choose from. There are quite some options available there: from creating personal book collection inventories to curating functional staff or vendor rosters at work, there’s a Glide app for anything, which we can help you make!
What can Glide do? A walkthrough of Glide’s features
Let’s cut to the chase. Glide is a seemingly simple yet truly powerful drag-and-drop editor that will build an aesthetically pleasing app for you in minutes by extracting the data out of a spreadsheet. That means that you won’t ever have to actually build an app by writing lines of code – you’ll simply have to place the features of your app in the right order and you’ll be able to manipulate your app’s data by making changes on your Google Sheet.
This all starts by choosing the Google Sheet or data from your computer that you want to use as a database for your app. You link it to Glide, and voilá, your Google Sheet is linked to your app. This prompts Glide to automatically create an app for you, in seconds, using the template you’ve selected, adapting it to your spreadsheet by using its very own algorithm. Glide’s drag and drop interface will then allow you to edit your freshly created app and interact with all its elements as you please. You will be able to easily define settings and parameters such as:
- Your app’s icon (by choosing through a quirky list of emojis and symbols)
- Your app’s name (which its users will be able to see)
- Your app’s icon’s background color
- Your app’s theme, choosing between a light or dark theme
- Your app’s URL, which basically means it will have its own web address
- Your app’s brief description
- Your app’s privacy settings
By the way, Glide adds amazing features to its platform every week, which makes creating an app an exciting and thrilling experience time after time. As you can see, Glide apps are fully customizable, so you can be sure to end up with something you’re proud of, something that’s attuned to your needs and aesthetic.
Is Glide Apps for you? Glide’s ideal user
The revolution of low code/ no code solutions
It is safe to say that here at LowCode Agency, we’re experts in low code/ no-code app development. Low code/ no code is a software development approach that allows users to create apps without any requirement of the knowledge of coding. That means that even someone who doesn’t have the faintest idea of how to code or how apps and software are created can effortlessly curate their perfect app, thanks to low code. How, you ask?
Well, instead of complex software development processes, low code and no code make it so that it has all been laid out as easy visual interfaces that use a drag and drop logic. Anyone can become a “citizen developer” and create beautiful apps for any purpose.
Glide, a leading low code/ no code platform in 2022
That’s why we think that solutions like Glide can be useful for pretty much anyone. Whether you’re non technical and you need a simple app for personal inventory, or you run a small business and would like to simplify your vendor lists or streamline customer relations, there’s a Glide app out there for you. In that sense, Glide doesn’t have an ideal user. If it did, it would be anyone who required a fast, efficient, cost-effective solution to create apps for an endless range of purposes throughout all domains of life: business, health, leisure, and more.
By the way, here is a list of a few different Glide templates, which will show you the range of possibilities Glide apps offer:
- Employee directory
- E-commerce store
- Expense reporter
- Delivery app
- Spare parts management
- Issue tracker
- City guide
- Personal budget tracker
- Attendance tracker
- Property management
- Online cinema
- Food ordering
- Meal plan
- Gym management
- Party invitation tracker
- Grocery delivery
- Knowledge portal
- Cleaning checklist
- Tip calculator
- Performance reviews
- Medical practice
- Interview applicant tracker
- Portfolio stock tracker
- Pulse tracking
- Attendance sheet
- Room reservations
So, you could be:
- A vacation rental homeowner wanting some help in managing reservations.
- A restaurant looking to offer local deliveries.
- A busy parent in need of a meal plan management tool.
- A young adult that needs a bit of order in their finances thanks to a tailored personal budget tracker.
- A long-distance family craving some quality time together even from afar by watching movies online through a personal virtual cinema app.
- An up and coming small business owner who needs help in recruiting their first employees with an interview applicant tracker.
And many, many more.
How to build your own Glide app
So, you reckon you could truly benefit from having a low code app created with Glide. The only question now is: how? Let’s explore how to create a Glide app in minutes, without any knowledge of coding whatsoever.
Step 1: Create your Glide account
The first thing you’re going to need to do is create your Glide account to gain access to the platform. You’ll have to connect to your Google or Gmail account, because of how Glide leverages Google Sheets to gather data for your future app. If you don’t have a Google account yet, you can sign in with your usual email address.
Step 2: Check or create the Google Sheet that will contain your app’s data
As we have previously mentioned, Glide uses spreadsheets to create apps thanks to an intricate algorithm that mines the data and translates it into a balanced and seamless interface. That’s why you’ll need to have previously created a spreadsheet, more specifically a Google Sheet, in order to create your Glide app. Since 2022, you can use an Excel file, an Airtable base*, MySQL, or Glide’s own tables to host your data.
By the way, though it didn’t use to, Glide now supports Excel, which means you don’t have to spend hours and hours fiddling around trying to transform an Excel spreadsheet into a Google Sheet. That means that even if you’re not used to working with Google Sheets and all your spreadsheets were made in Excel, the more traditional version of spreadsheets, you’ll still be able to get your Glide app up and running in no time.
If you’ve already created your data spreadsheets when you sign up to Glide, have it ready to go, and make sure it’s in the state you want it in. Bear in mind that your future app will be based on that very spreadsheet, so make sure it has the right number of columns and is overall adequately formatted. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to edit your spreadsheet at any time in the future, even once your app is created. In fact, that’s how you can change your future app’s data – by editing your master spreadsheet anytime you need to, from the app itself.
Step 3: Create and finetune your Glide app
You’ve done the hardest part: gathering your data in a Google Sheet. The days of endlessly scrolling down monotonous spreadsheets are over, you’re now going to be able to deal with your data most excitingly and efficiently: through a tailored, personalized Glide app. This is the point where you can create your app exactly how you want it.
Glide doesn’t allow you to create an app from scratch, per se. You’ll be offered a large range of templates to choose from, which will merge with your data and present you with a beautiful app within a few seconds of loading time. If you think you’re in search of an even more tailored solution and your needs require an app to be created from scratch, feel free to get in touch with us here at LowCode Agency, because that’s exactly what we do.
We’ve mentioned it before, but there are so many personalization options to choose from on the Glide platform. Glide creates an automatic default app for you using your Google Sheet’s data, then it’s up to you to switch things around and finetune your app until you’re happy with it. You’ll be able to go back and edit any of these features at any point in the future, so don’t worry if you’re not 100% confident in your choices. They can be temporary, just like they can be left as such forever and the app will continue working.
That’s what’s great about Glide as a low code/ no code solution: it does the maintenance for you. Traditionally, when building an app, a software development team would have to be paid for maintaining your app over time. Bugs come up often, and you probably want to be able to adapt to situations as they come along. Maybe your app’s users don’t love a certain feature of it, or maybe you’d like to add something to your app because your business has more or different needs. With Glide, all of that is just a few clicks away. There is no need to leverage a whole development team for every single change and small tweaks. We think that makes for some pretty flexible, practical, and effortless apps, don’t you?
Glide apps are shareable via a personalized URL that you’ll be able to set up when creating your app. You can email, text, and share this URL on as many platforms as you want. It’s completely free to share and send to anyone needed. We recommend you create a URL that best reflects your app’s purpose, just like a website URL would do so. For example, our website’s URL is lowcode.agency – a reflection of our name and who we are. People will easily be able to bookmark and keep your app’s URL handy at all times if they can easily recognize it.
Step 5: Edit and come back to your app whenever you need
We’ve talked about this, but it could come in handy to easily be able to edit your app in the future. That’s why Glide has made it a walk in the park to make any changes to your app – simply come back to the Glide platform and tweak anything you want. If it’s your data that needs changing, you can simply modify it directly on the Google Sheet you used to create your app.
Glide’s pricing – a plan for everyone
We thought it was important to include a quick word about Glide’s pricing. Please note that Glide does have a free plan, though it does have some pretty hefty limitations that may or may not be an issue for you, depending on the usage you’re expecting of your Glide app. We usually recommend that business users go for one of the paid plans. Regardless, here is Glide’s current pricing (April 2022) for you to browse through.
|Apps & Pages||Up to 3||Up to 5||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Whitelabeling||–||Available Separately||3 projects||5 projects|
|Sources||Glide & Google Sheets||Airtable, Glide & Google Sheets||Airtable, Glide, Google Sheets & Microsoft Excel||Airtable, Glide, Google Sheets & Microsoft Excel|
|Rows per project||500||5,000||25,000||25,000|
|Expert Onboarding Session||–||Available Separately||Available Separately||✔|
|Customer Sucess Engineer||–||–||–||See Enterprise|
|60 Column Types||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Single Sign-on (SSO)||–||–||–||–|
Though we find it truly awesome, it would be biased of us to supply you with a guide on Glide without detailing some of its limitations. Of course, like anything, it does have some. However, you may find these limitations have little to no impact on the usage you hope to have of your Glide apps. Let’s take a look.
Having to base your app off of a Google Sheet
Spoiler alert: this isn’t true — well, more precisely, it is no longer. For many, being able to transform their spreadsheets into powerful and aesthetically pleasing apps sounds like a miracle. No more staring at dull spreadsheets all day – the future is all about saving time and resources by dealing with data through fabulous personalized apps that you can create without any knowledge of coding or software development whatsoever.
However, if you’re not used to working with spreadsheets, or Google Sheets, you may find it more difficult than other users to create your Glide apps. Don’t worry though, there are some pretty easy fixes for this problem:
- Glide now supports Excel, Airtable, mySQL and its own tables, so what may have been true some time ago now means that it’s even easier for you to create your app.
- The learning curve for Google Sheets is really shallow, especially if you’ve used software like Excel before.
- There are plenty of resources available to teach you how to create Google Sheets.
- It doesn’t take long to create a spreadsheet that you’ll be able to use to base your Glide app off of.
- Glide has a whole bunch of great resources available on their website to teach you how to master the art of creating beautiful Glide apps.
Lack of personalization options when creating your apps
If you’ve ever dreamt of having your own app before, you’ve probably fantasized about all the lavish colors, animations, effects, and features it would have. Because Glide is a low code solution, you won’t be able to customize your app 100%. To be fair, it does have an impressive range of personalization options, though you might find yourself limited by them, depending on your needs and expectations.
In that case, you can reach out to Glide experts like us here at LowCode Agency – we create our clients’ dream apps for them using low code solutions like Glide. In fact, we’ve actually managed to successfully create more than 230 apps to this date. It’s safe to say we’re pretty passionate about helping people have fully tailored and customized apps, for any purpose.
Your dream Glide apps with LowCode Agency
Because we’ve created so many Glide apps since we started, and our team is certified by Glide as experts, we can personalize all the features of an app way more than a beginner or intermediate Glide user could. We focus on creating the perfect solution for your needs, in a fraction of the time it would traditionally take to build an app, which is three to four months on average. Our process is as follows:
- We hop on a discovery call with you, so we can understand your pains, goals, and needs, and assess what your app needs.
- In simple terms, we create wireframes of your app and send them to you so you can approve the user flows and even send them to your team for feedback.
- Once we get your approval, we start building your app, and by the end of the build, we’ve created a beautiful and powerful Glide app, completely tailored to your needs, in just 2-3 weeks.
- This is the point where we send you your freshly created app so that you can give it a test drive. If it needs tweaking, we will make any changes and send it back to you once we are done.
- You now have your dream Glide app, which you can launch and share as many times as you please. We stay in contact with you for as long as your app exists, assisting you and making any changes you wish. You’ll be able to contact us if you need to add anything to your app, or if your needs have changed, giving you the option to scale your app according to your needs as time goes by.
Feel free to book your free discovery call with us to get one step closer to having your very own dream Glide app to use and share with friends, family, coworkers, or even clients, as you please!
Frequently Asked Questions
Building a Glide app can be done in 4 steps:
1. Create your Glide account
2. Check or create the Google Sheet that will contain your app’s data
3. Create and finetune your Glide app
4. Publish your app & share it with users
Glide has all the advantages that a low-code platform could have: easy to use, built templates, and free at first. These advantages will help owners launch their apps within minutes with an interactive user interface.
Glide has some limitations over database management and personalization. However, it should not bother you too much if your application is serving less than 100k users.
Glide can be used to build apps for any purpose. It can be either for an individual project or even a corporation thanks to Glide’s flexible scalability. You can build Glide apps by yourself or work with an agency depending on your cost and time resources.
Jesus is the founder of Low Code Agency: a low-code development agency that allows small business owners to get their mobile and web apps done fast and cost-effectively while maintaining quality.