No/low code tools for mobile & automation

I was fossiking around the web and came across this article The Top Five Open Source Nocode Tools.

On the site it had this chart, that I think is fantastic:

I’ve been exploring this area of apps & programmes so its nice to have a reference of a lot of tools in the area.

I’ve highlighted ones that I’ve looked at or use and also in red are 2 of interest in the mobile area that I want to explore more thoroughly, OpenAsApp (make app from previous data, may be limited but quick and easy to share and free plan looks reasonable) and Bravo which works as native app, but a bit of building work goes into setting it up (also not too sure of how much the free plan gives you).

There are a few automation tools that I’m interested in exploring, so this will be a handy reference.

Rintangi looks good for Asset Management and I’ll want to take that for a spin, although it does seem to have a lot of prerequisites. Saltcom, just seems to be a website builder with a database.

Mobile apps worth a mention, from the diagram above and elsewhere

Open As App

OpenAsApp, after exploring a bit further, looks interesting as its a no-code app & with its free plan on the surface but has a couple of flags that I wonder about. First, you upload Excel or Google Sheet to their website to load the raw data and so if there are changes to that data, how do you access it? On investigation, you have to use the Desktop browser to interact to get to that data, I’m not sure if you can download it, or whether you have to extract it via some special method.

The other thing I thought was interesting is that, on your mobile phone, you have to download their App, then open your designed app within that. This is the way they can limit your app with sharing, so for free account you can share with 4 (5 total?). This is a bit like Honeycode in that you have to open their app to gain access to your’s.

I think , because you download it on Android or iOS you then have a native app, so I presume that it then stores the app on your phone, to make it more responsive (Native being more responsive that web based, such as Glide).

I’m not sure whether I want to dive into it or not. The 2 barriers are 1/ Accessing and using the data via browser & 2/ The app within an app. I cannot see many advantages over Glide apart from possible responsiveness. I do think the Google Spreadsheet access and extra tools via GAS in Glide are better than this offering. I also wonder whether, if you want to go down this path, whether Amazon Honeycode would be better and more extendable.

Bravo Studio

Bravo Studio looks interesting in the no code mobile and I think you can get some good looking apps but need to use Figma to build the elements of the app, so you need boxes and panels and embed layers and then the Bravo studio lets you add short code strings to the panels to make the actions. So you build the interface externally then add element actions/code to parts of the screen and can pull from API’s or Airtable or other items (yet to explore).

It means you can have quite a slick looking app, depending on your design of the app. You can embed videos in and gif’s to get some dynamism into the app, and its native. So build will be specific to Android or iOS.

I think there is a Famous? App Builder that does the same thing, a lot of work building images etc, I’m not sure if I want to spend all my time fiddling with the look of it (as a Designer I know the time drain with that process).

I think it is a native app, so you can create an APK file and upload to your phone I presume. So presumably you can distribute it. This may be worth a try but a few issues. 1/ Doing Graphics you need Figma, so you need to set up a free account for that, then you import it into Bravo Studio (another free account) and if you are using Airtables then you have to link to another account for that, so there is a bit of a tail of tools that you have to jump between and learn.

Markerpad

Markerpad Marketplace is another place to look for no/low code tools

telegraph bots

Another article Bots: An introduction for developers shows an interesting automation that may be worth trying too.

End comment

A good reference point to explore a lot of different tools.