glide apps review

Glide app review : should you use it to build your app ?

By now, I’m sure that you have heard about no-code tools… These past few years, we’ve seen dozens of new no-code tools pop up. 

One of those platforms is Glide App, a platform that allows you to “build an app from a Google Sheet in five minutes, for free“.

This sounds great, especially for people with a non-technical background like me, but is creating an app with it really that easy ? This is what we’re going to explore in this Glide app review today ! 

Contents

What is Glide ?

Before we dive into building an app with Glide, here’s more information about the platform, and what it can be used for.

Founded in 2018 by David Siegel & Jason Smith, Glide is a service that lets you create a mobile app from the contents of a spreadsheet without having to write a single line of code, and very quickly.

⚠ The apps created in Glide cannot be published on Google Play or the App Store.

Pricing

Here’s a quick overview of Glide’s pricing tiers (check the pricing page for the details)

  • the free tier with 500 rows in the app’s spreadsheet, with the glide branding (logo + domain).
  • the basic tier (12$) with 5000 rows in the app’s spreadsheet with the glide branding (logo + domain)
  • the pro plan with 25.000 rows in the app’s spreadsheet and no glide branding
  • the private pro plan, which has all the features of the pro plan plus the ability to only let people you allow to sign in.

💡 In each plan, you can buy extra rows.

⚠ Each plan is only valid for one app. If you have several apps that you need to upgrade, you’ll have to pay a play for each app.

Is Glide the right choice for your app ?

I have built 3 apps so far, and from my experience, Glide is a good way to create :

  • internal apps for a company
  • mvp apps to validate an idea quickly
  • personal apps (eg : budgeting tracker, to-do lists, etc.) 
  • simple apps for small companies (eg : booking apps, delivery apps, etc.)

What exactly can you do with Glide ?

How do you make a Glide app ?

Here’s a quick overview of what features are available in Glide to build your app.  

1. Organize the layout of your app

As mentioned previously, your Glide app data is stored in a Google Sheet.

There is 8 different types of layouts : 

  • List
  • Compact list 
  • Tiles 
  • Calendar
  • Map
  • Checklist 
  • Cards 
  • Details

💡  My favorite is the details layout as it allows you to add components, and have more flexibility in your design.

You can add : 

  • text components
  • layout components (tables, separator, etc.)
  • media (images, audio files, etc.)
  • buttons (buy buttons, links, etc.)
  • inline & relation lists
  • pickers components (file picker, image picker, etc.)
  • charts components
  • entry fields components (text entry, phone entry, etc.)

2. Structure your data

Displaying data is cool, but you probably need more complex features (eg : make your users create a profile, adjust visibility settings)

Here’s the tools you can use in Glide to implement them : 

  • Filters : this will apply to the sheet with the data, and only show the data that fits a specific criteria

Quick tip 

For example, here’s how we can use a filter to allow users to edit their personal information : 

  1.  Create a button linking to your “Users” sheet
  2. In the “features” tab, make sure to use the filter “Email is signed-in user” in order to make sure that only the row containing the information of the signed-in user can be edited
  3. In the edit tab, check the “allow users to edit” tab. (A free template is available here if you want to see exactly how it works in Glide) 
  • Visibility settings : in the same vein, you can also hide & show the components of your app.
  • Computed columns : You can use Google sheets functions to structure your data, but it’s actually more simple to use computed columns in the Glide data editor. In my opinion, the most useful computed columns are (click here if you want to see the full list) :
    • The Relation column to relate items in two different sheets
    • The If ➡ Then ➡ Else column to a create a new set data depending on the values of other columns in your sheet.
    • The Lookup column to lookup values from other sheets.

Quick tip 

Let’s use an if then – else – column and visibility settings to show a specific button to users that haven’t completed their profile, and hide it from users who did. 

  1. To begin with, we’re going to create a new “hasProfile” columns directly in Glide’s data editor. This column will be a  “If → Then → Else Column”, which will allow you to assign a “true” status once an user a status for an item in your app once it meets a certain criteria.
  2. Then, we can go back to our button component, and set a visibility filter in the features tab. Since we want to show the “Complete Your Profile” button only to users that have completed their profile, we’re going to set the filter like this “Show component when hasProfile is false”  (A free template is available here if you want to see exactly how it works in Glide) 

That’s it for today ! I hope that this glide app review will help you decide if it’s the right no-code builder for you.

 If you want to explore further, here are some useful links: