Anyone can build an app. It's our philosophy at AppSheet, and we want to support our citizen developers as they create their own customized apps for their businesses.
In our continuing "Build an App" series, we're highlighting some of the most popular uses of our platform. In this post, we're creating a simple app with geolocation and Google Maps. Using your data, you can use this app to identify important locations and how to navigate to them. This app can be utilized in many ways, especially for those businesses that travel to multiple locations to perform services.
If you've already created an AppSheet account, you can click on "My Apps" and "Create New Mobile App" to get started. If you haven't signed up yet, click the "Start for Free" button.
Next, choose your data source. In this case, we're using Google Sheets, but you can use data from Excel, Dropbox, SmartSheet, Office365, mySQL, and a number of other programs. Click on the data you want to use and upload it into AppSheet's platform.
Everything that will go into our app comes from our spreadsheet. The spreadsheet we're using here has the name of the property, its latitude/longitudinal coordinates (you can also use standard addresses), an image, and any notes about the location (i.e. what services need to be performed there). AppSheet's platform will pull the data and automatically create the app.
If you click on the "map view" you can see all the different locations noted with blue dots, indicating all the locations a field service technician would need to visit on that day.
If that's all you need, you can stop there, and you've made your own geolocation app.
But if you're looking to add features and expand your app, keep reading.
AppSheet has literally hundreds of options available to app creators, so they can build the best app for their business.
For example, you can use the "columns" feature in the app editor to specify what types of columns you have in your spreadsheet and how you want them to function. If you want different columns to act differently (like if you want a column to be searchable or if it has sensitive data) you can customize that. You can learn more about columns here.
You can also create "slices" or subsets of the data. Slices can be used in a number of ways, like if you only want certain employees to see certain parts of the app, or if you want to create a UX view with only part of the table data. You can learn more about slices here.
You can also customize how your app looks. If you prefer a list or table view, you can change it in AppSheet's platforms to what makes the most sense for you. You can change the colors and branding to fit your business, and create "formatting rules" that will dictate how current and future data will look in your app. Click here for a step-by-step guide on changing your app's appearance.
The "behavior" tab will also tell your app how to respond as tasks are completed. You can customize it to add or delete rows or jump to different views, depending on your preference. You can also create workflows. For example, when a task is completed the app can send out an email notification. It can also generate daily reports for supervisors. You can generate an instant messenger conversation within the app for all employees involved. If you need extra security, you can create a user sign-in feature and determine who has access to the app. You can connect it to various authenticators, like Google or AWS, to ensure the most secure access. You can use as many or as few of these features as you want to make your app uniquely suited to your needs. Learn more about what you can do with the behavior tab here.
Once you've customized the app to your specifications, you're ready to deploy it. On the left side of your screen, click the "Not Deployed" link, and then the button that says "Move to Deployed Status". Your app is now ready to use, and any users you've designated will receive an email notification and can download the app for their mobile or desktop device.
Check out this video tutorial for a more in-depth look at the process. If you're not ready to build your own app from scratch, AppSheet has dozens of sample apps you can copy and customize for free to get started.
Kate loves telling a great story. She recently moved to Seattle after several years as a local news producer in Salt Lake City, Utah. She's now pursuing a master's degree in Communication, Leadership & Digital Media at the University of Washington while working on AppSheet's content strategy team. In her spare time, she loves exploring the city, teaching herself new digital skills, and working through an extensive list of excellent video games.