Google Cloud AppSheet review: No-code with extras
Google’s easy no-code app builder lets you add functionality with spreadsheet formulas and expressions, and even apply machine learning models.
Contributing Editor, InfoWorld | NOV 29, 2021 3:00 AM PST
AT A GLANCE
- Google Cloud AppSheetLearn Moreon Google Cloud
Google Cloud AppSheet is a no-code, intent-driven app development platform. Its web-based design environment runs in the Google Cloud, and it generates apps for web, iOS, and Android. Even though it is billed as no-code, AppSheet supports spreadsheet formulas, filter expressions, and bots defined with expressions and diagrams, giving it much of the functionality of low-code app builders.
Google Cloud AppSheet allows you to automate business processes such as order approvals and user notifications, and automatically build actions and views based on user intent with Google Cloud AI and ML. You can use AppSheet to build one app for use on desktop, mobile, and tablet. And you can connect to a variety of data sources, as well as add data such as GPS locations, pictures, drawings, barcode scanning, and character recognition from end-user devices.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Amazon Honeycode review: No code has its limits | Power Apps review: Sweeter than Honeycode ]
Google doesn’t pretend that “citizen developers” can build apps in a vacuum. Instead, they say that IT and citizen developers can efficiently collaborate with governance and corporate policy capabilities. They also tout the integration between AppSheet and Google Workspace tools as time-saving. As is true of most no-code and low-code app builders, citizen developers use AppSheet because it is easy, and professional developers use it because they can create apps quickly.
Much of the design work for AppSheet comes at the data design stage. Of course, it helps to know what you’re trying to accomplish and why. AppSheet’s process of inferring intent from your data structure is quite good. I wasn’t surprised when AppSheet turned Google’s own example spreadsheet into a good prototype app and included a map view (because Google Maps, duh). I was more impressed when AppSheet turned Microsoft’s example spreadsheet (from its Power Apps demo) into a good prototype app, one that was functionally the same as what Power Apps created.
AppSheet supports many data and service integrations, including some non-traditional data sources such as a Google Drive folder treated as a table. Power Apps, which is more mature,