Whether you’re an Airtable beginner looking to enhance the user experience or you’re facing mobile functionality challenges, you’ve come to the right place. While Airtable may not be initially designed for mobile use, there are ways to make it more effective. In this article, we’ll explore the features and benefits of Airtable and introduce you to Glide, a tool that can help you build mobile-ready Airtable apps.
What is Airtable?
Airtable is a low-code platform that allows you to create collaborative apps tailored to your needs. It goes beyond traditional spreadsheets by providing a powerful interface to organize and relate various pieces of information. With Airtable, you can easily gather and organize data, automate workflows, integrate with other tools, and share your custom apps with others.
What’s Awesome About Airtable
Let’s dive into some of the features that make Airtable an exciting addition to the low-code space.
Databases Become Approachable
Airtable’s spreadsheet-database hybrid approach makes working with databases more digestible. It combines the organization and relationship capabilities of databases with the calculation abilities of spreadsheets. Airtable’s clean design, reminiscent of tools like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, makes it easy to navigate and work with data.
Automation + Integration Make Data Usable
Airtable not only helps you organize and manipulate data but also integrates seamlessly into your workplace processes. Through built-in support for popular work apps and a powerful API, Airtable connects with the tools you already use. This integration allows you to pull real-time data from various sources and create automations to streamline your workflows. No data science or programming experience required.
Airtable takes collaboration seriously by providing fine-grained control over who can access and edit your custom apps. As a workspace owner, you can invite team members to your entire workspace or specific bases within it. You can set different permission levels to ensure the right people have the appropriate access. Airtable even allows you to share read-only versions of your bases or specific views with external stakeholders.
Where Airtable Could be Better
While Airtable offers many powerful features, there are a couple of areas where it falls short.
Airtable’s Consumer-Facing Layer is Lacking
Airtable’s Interface Designer is an attempt to make its apps more consumer-friendly by introducing drag-and-drop elements. However, this feature is still in beta and may not meet everyone’s expectations. Airtable’s primary focus is on providing a backend solution for internal collaboration rather than a polished frontend interface.
Using Airtable on Mobile is Unpleasant
While Airtable does work on mobile devices, the experience is far from ideal. Due to its lack of a friendly front-end interface, using Airtable on smaller screens becomes even more challenging. Its similarity to traditional spreadsheets makes it crowded and requires a lot of scrolling. Airtable acknowledges this limitation and recommends using it primarily on desktop or larger screens.
Why Mobile Functionality Matters for Modern Business Apps
Mobile functionality is crucial for modern business apps. With around 80% of the global workforce being “deskless,” mobile devices play a significant role in accessing and working with business data. Whether it’s healthcare professionals, installation specialists, or remote project managers, having mobile access to essential data improves efficiency, accuracy, and collaboration. In a world of flexible work arrangements, mobile-friendly apps empower employees to stay connected and productive.
Why You Should Stop Using Spreadsheets
In today’s fast-paced business environment, relying solely on spreadsheets to manage data can be limiting and inefficient. With the rise of mobile technology and the need for real-time collaboration, it’s time to explore alternative solutions. Spreadsheets may have been the go-to tool in the past, but they can’t keep up with the demands of modern businesses.
Introducing Glide: How to Bring Mobile Functionality to Your Airtable Data
Glide is a no-code app-building software that allows you to create mobile-friendly business apps without starting from scratch. By integrating Glide with Airtable, you can unleash the full potential of your data and create apps optimized for both iOS and Android devices.
Glide offers intuitive drag-and-drop editors, customizable templates, and seamless data integration with Airtable, Microsoft Excel, and Google Sheets. Its focus on frontend functionality complements Airtable’s backend capabilities, enabling you to build appealing and user-friendly apps for both internal and external use.
7 Steps to Using Glide to Build Your First Mobile Airtable App
Ready to get started with Glide and Airtable? Here are the steps to create your first mobile business app:
1. Create Your Free Account
Sign up for a Glide account and set up your profile, which only takes a few minutes. Glide offers a free plan, allowing you to try it out without any cost.
2. Select New Project + Glide App
Inside your Glide dashboard, select “New Project,” give it a name, and choose the Glide App option to create a new mobile app.
3. Choose Airtable as Your Source
Select Airtable as the data source for your new mobile business app. Glide offers various options, but for this integration, you’ll want to choose Airtable.
4. Connect Airtable and Glide
Follow the instructions to connect your Airtable account to Glide. This step involves generating an API key from your Airtable account and pasting it into Glide’s interface.
5. Choose Your Airtable Base and Create App
Once connected, you’ll see all your Airtable bases. Choose the base you want to use as the foundation for your new business app. Glide will generate a basic mobile app based on the data in your selected Airtable base.
Now comes the exciting part. Use Glide’s drag-and-drop editor to customize your app and make it truly unique. Add components, customize the layout, update colors to match your brand, and set permissions to control access. You can also connect to third-party tools like Zapier to enhance functionality.
7. Publish and Share Your Finished Mobile Business App
Once you’re satisfied with your app’s design and functionality, it’s time to publish and share it. With a push of a button, you can go live and share your app via email. Updates and changes made in Glide will automatically sync across all instances of your app.
Build Your First Mobile Business App with Glide + Airtable
When you combine the power of Glide with Airtable’s data organization and integration capabilities, you can create fully-functional mobile business apps. Glide’s no-code approach allows both big and small businesses to leverage their data and build apps tailored to their needs. Say goodbye to spreadsheets and embrace the future of mobile-friendly business apps.
For more information about Glide and its pricing options, visit Zenith City News.