Do you have an app built with Glide that you want to convert into native mobile apps? Are you shopping around for no-code tools, like the look of Glide but also want to publish a mobile version of your app?
If so, keep reading. Though you can’t build native mobile apps with Glide, it’s simple and straightforward to convert your Glide app to mobile apps using MobiLoud Canvas.
By doing this, you’ll be able to offer a superior user experience to your mobile users. You’ll boost engagement, retention and loyalty, and add more powerful user acquisition channels. All without giving up the simplicity and usability that Glide is known for.
What is Glide?
Glide is one of the most popular and user-friendly no-code app builders on the market today. One of their main taglines is “turn spreadsheets into software”. With Glide, you can take the data you collect in a spreadsheet (e.g. Google Sheets, Excel, Airtable), and use it to create a visually-appealing website or app.
No-code app builders are one of the biggest trends in apps and software today. Tools like Glide and Bubble have torn down the barrier of entry for people to build functional apps, with visual drag-and-drop builders that allow you to create apps without writing a line of code.
With that, comes certain limitations. One such limitation is the ability to build native mobile apps.
The Glide Apps feature does allow you to create web apps that work on mobile devices. But you’ll find that this is not quite the same as an actual native mobile app.
Glide Apps may be suitable for a small app for personal use or for limited users. If you want something more scalable, you’ll want the extra features you get with a native app.
Difference Between Glide Apps and Mobile Apps
Despite what it might look like, you can’t build true native apps with Glide. Glide mobile apps can be shared publicly, use mobile UX elements, and even be launched from a home screen icon. But it’s actually a progressive web app (PWA), not a native mobile app.
Why does that matter?
A progressive web app is designed to imitate the look and feel of a native mobile app, but uses the mobile browser to work, rather than the mobile device’s operating system.
As a result, you miss out on some features that can only run in an actual mobile app. Push notifications, for example, don’t work reliably on all devices if your app runs on the mobile browser.
And if your app is a PWA, you won’t be able to add it to the Apple/Google Play app stores. This takes away a big way for people to discover and access your app. Though you can install a launcher icon for a PWA, it’s not as straightforward as being able to install an app directly from the app store.
Benefits of Mobile Apps for your Business
Here are some of the biggest benefits of building native mobile apps, compared to a mobile website or PWA.
Mobile users today expect a dedicated mobile user experience, and they want to use apps over mobile websites.
Data backs that up, showing that 90% of the time we spend on mobile devices is spent using apps. This chart from eMarketer shows that the share of app usage vs mobile websites is only going up.
An just provides a much smoother and more pleasing user experience. They’re quicker to load, and the navigation is designed specifically for mobile. In comparison, mobile websites tend to have clunky navigation, and annoying blockers like needing to log in every time you open the app.
If you really want people to have an optimal experience on mobile, give them an app.
When people love your UX, and you make it as easy as possible to get in and use your app, you create a base of more engaged and loyal users.
Greater engagement leads to more app opens, more usage, more revenue, and the kind of users who spread great word-of-mouth about your app.
Pushing these users into a suboptimal solution has the opposite effect, turning loyal users against you. Smart Church Solutions found this out when they tried to switch their native app to a low-maintenance PWA version.
“We tried to tell our customers to go to their mobile device browser and use the app on your web browser or save it to your home screen. A number of these customers were ok with this but many others weren’t. We ended up having pushback for not having a native mobile app.”
Push notifications are a really powerful way to communicate with your user base and get people into your app. They have an incredibly high engagement rate, and give you a direct line to your users that email, social media and other channels simply can’t match.
You can send push notifications from web apps. But they are pretty limited, and are mostly only available on Android devices.
Without push notifications, you miss out on a lot of the value of building a mobile app. Whether you use them to promote offers, let users know about app updates, or any other use case, push notifications work better than any alternative out there.
Create Another Revenue Channel
Apps give you something that’s easily monetized, and can add huge figures to your bottom line. Whether you monetize through subscriptions, in-app purchases or just by showing ads, the revenue potential for mobile apps is massive.
While you can do most of the same things with a web app, web apps are not as well-optimized to make money as apps are today.
The lower engagement rates and UX from web apps hurt, for one thing. You’re also missing out by not being in the App Stores, which can drive new user acquisition, as well as offering increased social proof for your brand.
How to Convert a Glide App to Mobile App
With the resources available in Glide, the closest you can get to a native app is building a PWA.
If you want to turn your app into native mobile apps for Android and iOS, you’ve got two options.
First, you can rebuild your app from scratch in a native app programming language (e.g. React Native), or with another app builder made specifically for native apps.
This isn’t ideal, as the reason to use Glide is the simplicity and ability to create an app with no code. Rebuilding your app will take a lot of time, even more money, and defeats the purpose of using Glide in the first place.
The second option you have is to convert your app into a “wrapper” app. This is a native mobile wrapper, or shell, that retains your app’s existing functionality, but allows you to add on key elements of a mobile app.
A wrapper app works just as a native mobile app would. You can publish your app in the app stores, and you can enable push notifications.
Our tool, Canvas, is perfect for taking your existing Glide app and making it a fully functional wrapper app. Thousands of startups and established businesses have used Canvas to enter the iOS and Android markets, and they all come out surprised at just how easy and pain-free the process is.
Canvas is not just a self-service SaaS platform. We offer full service throughout the process, and even after your app submission is completed. Our team remains with you to help with any growing pains, updates, or changes you’d like to make down the line.
Step by Step: Convert a Glide App to Mobile Apps with MobiLoud Canvas
Canvas makes it easy to convert any website or web app into apps for iOS and Android devices.
There are major advantages to using Canvas to convert your Glide app to mobile apps, over coding it from scratch or using another app builder. You’ll save a huge amount of time and money (building mobile apps from scratch takes months or work and tens of thousands of dollars at the low end). But best of all, you’ll be able to manage everything from one place.
When you make a change to your Glide app, your mobile apps update as well. That’s the beauty of wrapper apps. Your content and the functionality of your site stays consistent across all platforms, so there’s very little additional work you need to do to maintain your apps.
Here’s the process for converting your Glide app with Canvas.
- Book a demo with one of our team to discuss the project, your goals, and how Canvas can help you.
- Create an account and configure your mobile apps. Like Glide, there’s zero coding required, and we can even handle 100% of the process if you prefer.
- Wait a short time as we put the finishing touches on your mobile apps.
- When ready, you’ll be able to test your mobile apps to check that everything works fine and as you want.
- When you’re happy, our team will submit your apps to the Apple App Store and Google Play.
That’s it – a 5-step process that’s infinitely easier than hiring expensive developers to build your mobile apps.
Glide is a great platform for non-coders who want to build apps, without hiring developers or learning to code. You can build some pretty amazing things with Glide, but it’s still only limited to web apps.
If you want to scale your app and launch native mobile versions, Canvas is the answer. You don’t need to rebuild anything, and you don’t need to write any code. All you need to do is get in touch with our team and discuss what you need and how we can help.
MobiLoud Canvas is the easiest way to convert your Glide app to native mobile apps, as well as the easiest way to maintain your apps down the line.
Get in touch with us now to give your mobile users the experience they deserve.