FlutterFlow vs Glide: A comparison for 2024
Glide and FlutterFlow are two of the web app builders that have gained popularity in recent years. But which of the two is the best no-code/low-code platform?
If you’re familiar with the no-code and low-code spaces, you’ll know that there’s a real battle between platforms. It’s hard to take your pick from all these tools with equally wonderful promises and exciting interfaces.
To help you make the right choice, we’ll explore the drawbacks and benefits of both platforms. Let’s dive in!
Opt for FlutterFlow if you want to reach mobile users through native apps on both Android and iOS, prioritize performance and full access to platform functionalities, and are comfortable with coding or working with developers. Choose Glide if you prioritize web-based accessibility, rapid prototyping, and ease of deployment without needing advanced native app features.
- Allows you to organize data, customize layouts, and build custom workflows with an easy-to-use interface.
- Connects to your business data where it lives, from spreadsheets to databases, with many options to choose from and a powerful native data source, Glide tables.
- Provides a design system crafted with high-quality components that automatically update so your apps always look modern.
- Offers an intuitive data editor that makes managing and visualizing your data refreshingly straightforward.
- Provides a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to build your app 10x faster than traditional development.
- Provides a highly tailored UI and advanced functionality.
- Enables you to craft intricate UIs, complete with animations, within its platform.
- Can help you build complex and powerful native mobilel apps.
- Allows you to export your code or deploy directly to the app stores
Integration and third-party tools
Glide has many pre-built integrations you can use for your app. They cover many use cases, like analytics (Google Analytics), communication (Slack, Discord), data management (Clearbit, Generate CSV), and productivity tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Teams.
For Pro/Enterprise level apps, Glide offers API access, allowing users to integrate their apps with external services and automate data updates. To maintain a no-code approach, users can use a platform like Make or Zapier as a bridge to connect their Glide apps with other platforms.
FlutterFlow also has both customizable API integrations and pre-configured options. Their ready-to-use integrations include popular services like Google Analytics, Google Maps, GitHub, Paypal, Stripe, and Algolia. The platform's integration with Google Firebase is excellent since its connection with Firestore provides robust data connectivity.
Customization and custom code integration
FlutterFlow generates Dart code (Flutter's language), facilitating the development of cross-platform mobile apps. The platform offers a few options to integrate custom code, a crucial feature for building complex applications. Users can enhance customization by:
- Creating custom widgets using Dart.
- Importing external Flutter packages.
Templates and pre-built components
Glide has a big library of templates covering various categories. These templates provide a solid foundation and can be easily customized to fit your specific needs, saving you significant development time.
Explore our selection of Glide templates! They are the perfect starting point for your app.
FlutterFlow also has a marketplace featuring pre-made templates and components. While the selection might be smaller compared to some platforms, the quality remains high, with both free and paid options available (starting at $200).
- Backend Infrastructure:
Glide leverages Google Cloud Platform's serverless functions to handle app logic and data processing, eliminating the need for server management and offering scalability and flexibility.
- Data Sources:
There are many options for external data storage in Glide, including Google Sheets, Excel, Airtable, and BigQuery. You can also use Glide Tables, their native spreadsheet solution, for handling large datasets and scalability.
- Backend Logic:
We know all this info can be overwhelming. You don’t have to do it alone, our expert team can build your Glide app!
- Backend Services:
Flutterflow primarily relies on Firebase and Supabase, both Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platforms, to handle backend services. BaaS simplifies server-side operations, including data storage, retrieval, user authentication, and real-time communication.
- Data Sources:
The platform connects natively to various cloud databases: Firebase, Airtable, Google Sheets, and Supabase. It also supports integration with external data sources via custom APIs.
- Backend Logic:
Flutterflow relies on external services like Firebase Functions or custom integrations for complex backend logic and advanced app functionality.
Scalability and performance
With Glide, you can expect to obtain a stable and responsive project. While Glide supports some offline functionality, if you're diving into the offline world extensively, FlutterFlow might be a better choice.
You can confidently scale your app alongside your growing user base and data volume without worrying about performance problems. Glide can sync large amounts of data from sources like Google Sheets and Excel into your app, and its native Glide Tables can handle massive datasets with ease, leaving other alternatives behind.
FlutterFlow excels in native app performance, with efficient running across mobile devices. It can also cache key assets and data for offline browsing and functionality. Developers can implement custom logic and integrations with offline-capable databases or frameworks to handle specific data needs during offline periods.
FlutterFlow generates clean and readable code, that follows Flutter and Dart's best practices and conventions, making it well-structured, formatted, easy to understand, and, easy to scale. Through Firebase, FlutterFlow provides a robust foundation for handling growing data volumes, especially with Firestore offering scalable real-time data storage. So you can start small with FlutterFlow and add more features as your app's story unfolds.
Do you want to build a scalable app with a team of experts? Check out our Flutterflow development services!
- Flutterflow leverages the robust security measures built into iOS and Android platforms, including sandboxing, data encryption, and secure communication protocols.
- It offers mechanisms like code obfuscation and secure storage, making it harder for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities.
- It allows for secure login processes (multi-factor authentication, social login) and aids in complying with GDPR and other privacy regulations through data anonymization and user control features.
Learn more about Flutterflow security in our full review!
- Employs a multi-layered security approach, utilizing open-source tools, automated vulnerability scans, and independent penetration testing for proactive defense.
- Their access control lets you define who can do what within your app through granular permissions and user management.
- Restrict access to specific data rows based on email addresses and adjust overall app privacy settings (public, private, specific users, email domains).
- Glide adheres to strict industry standards like GDPR and SOC 2, demonstrating a commitment to data privacy and security. Regular updates ensure continuous improvement.
Glide prioritizes real-time collaboration, allowing multiple team members to edit the app simultaneously. Changes are instantly reflected for everyone, similar to a shared Google Doc. This fosters rapid iteration and feedback loops, as team members can quickly test ideas and refine features on the fly. Glide's live deployments push updates to users within seconds, so everyone always has access to the latest version. This approach is ideal for teams seeking fast development cycles.
FlutterFlow provides a central hub for managing projects and user access. Team members, clients, or even external stakeholders can be invited with specific roles and editing privileges. Unlike Glide's real-time updates, FlutterFlow offers version control and branching capabilities, allowing parallel development on different features without merge conflicts. Additionally, they have built-in chat and commenting features to communicate throughout the development process.
Ease of use and learning curve
There are two options with Glide. You can start by syncing your data from a spreadsheet to your app, or you can choose to start from scratch. Bear in mind that the data you choose to fuel your app can come from several data sources.
Once you connect your data, you’ll be ready to develop your app without coding. Developing an app with Glide is quite intuitive as it mostly consists of manipulating drag-and-drop components. There are many possibilities for adding visual elements to display your data in a way that’s interactive and easy to understand. With Glide, the great advantage is having access to pre-made elements such as lists, charts, buttons, and colors.
In the case of FlutterFlow, you will be creating the design yourself without the convenience of pre-made templates. If you want to build something of a high standard without any previous experience, you will have to hire someone who knows about design, user experience, and user interface.
However, FlutterFlow does have an impressive range of pre-built components to play with. As a matter of fact, there are more than 80 prebuilt components to choose from. These components include list items, drag-and-drop cards, and the development of user profiles. With FlutterFlow, you have the freedom to choose the details that will ultimately be important aspects of your app.
Support / Community
Throughout the years, Glide has cultivated a dynamic space where its community of users help each other in addressing all types of problems and concerns. You’ll find a world brimming with suggestions to guarantee the best experience of creating your own app. It offers plenty of resources that people of all experience levels can access in order to learn how to navigate the different components and tools the platform offers.
Glide invites users to read through the articles and watch instructional videos to understand the ins and outs of the app-building process. Thanks to these guiding concepts, users can get a clear idea of the processes involved.
In contrast, FlutterFlow offers a collection of pages on its website that provide users with the knowledge they might require as they advance through their project. This knowledge is not, however, always particularly easy to understand. It is less proactive and more reactive.
Additionally, you won’t find a public forum where FlutterFlow users can discuss common problems, suggestions, and ideas; you’ll have to create a FlutterFlow account first, and through the builder, get access to their community. This differs from the whole Glide experience, so if community guidance is important to you, you may want to consider Glide before FlutterFlow.
Deployment and code export
The most valuable feature of Flutterflow is probably its deployment process. You can deploy your app to the App Store and Google Play with full native functionality. FlutterFlow guides you through the submission process, making it accessible even for non-technical users. Deploying through app stores enables larger user bases and access to advanced features like push notifications and in-app purchases. Unlike Glide, FlutterFlow generates clean and readable Flutter code that you can export and modify at any time. This allows for fine-grained control and customization beyond the platform's features.
Glide primarily shines in creating web-based apps that adapt seamlessly to various screen sizes and devices, from desktops to phones and tablets. With Glide, you can build PWAs that offer offline access, push notifications, and a home screen icon for a native-like experience.
With Flutterflow you can build full-fledged native apps for both Android and iOS, and access the power and performance of each platform's native features. You’ll generate all your code only once in Dart and deploy your app natively on both platforms, saving development time and ensuring consistent user experience across devices.
- Internal tools:
- Project management board with drag-and-drop task management, assigned users, and deadline tracking.
- Employee onboarding portal with company policies, document submission forms, and progress tracking.
- Data visualization dashboards for sales performance, inventory levels, or customer feedback analysis.
- Content apps and web substitutes:
- Blog or news PWA with offline article access, personalized reading lists, and push notifications for new content.
- E-commerce PWA with product browsing, shopping cart management, and secure checkout process.
- Portfolio website PWA showcasing work samples, client testimonials, and contact information.
- Apps for mobile users:
- Ride-hailing app with real-time driver tracking, estimated arrival times, and in-app payment options.
- Fitness tracking app with workout routines, exercise logging, and integration with wearable devices.
- Social media app with user profiles, messaging, content sharing, and location-based features.
- For established businesses and broad audiences:
- Restaurant app with menu browsing, online ordering, table reservation, and loyalty program integration.
- Music streaming app with offline playback, personalized playlists, and artist bios with embedded videos.
Glide has a rich set of automation features, ranging from basic actions like adding data to sending emails to advanced functionalities like screen navigation and data manipulation. With Glide Actions, users can now define bespoke actions for interactive elements within their apps. This empowers multi-step processes, notifications, dynamic navigation, and much more.
FlutterFlow, on the other hand, is not primarily focused on workflow automations. While it is possible to build an app full of workflow automations, other apps offer better features. However, they are not specifically designed for building mobile applications like FlutterFlow is.
Pros and Cons
Focus: Building highly customized native mobile apps (iOS & Android) with visual and logic editors.
- Flexibility: Extensive UI/UX customization options, custom widgets, animations, and advanced logic controls.
- Integration: Connects to various data sources (Firebase, Airtable, etc.), APIs, and third-party plugins.
- Performance: Generates native code for fast and efficient app performance.
- Learning curve: Steeper learning curve compared to Glide due to its feature depth.
- Technical knowledge: While coding isn't required, some basic understanding of app development concepts is helpful.
- Cost: Paid plans with annual subscriptions.
Focus: Creating simple and data-driven apps with a focus on internal tools and dashboards.
- Ease of use: Intuitive interface with drag-and-drop functionality, perfect for beginners.
- Data-centric: Connects seamlessly to many data sources.
- Pre-built components: Utilizes pre-designed layouts and elements for fast development.
- Cost: Free tier available for basic apps, affordable paid plans for advanced features.
- Customization: Limited UI/UX customization compared to FlutterFlow.
- Functionality: Primarily designed for data-driven apps.
- Native apps: Generates web views for mobile apps, which can impact performance and platform-specific features.
Glide and FlutterFlow are two very different kinds of platforms, and they both cater to different needs. At the end of the day, it all comes down to whether you want a low-code platform that is straightforward and effortless to use, or whether you’re after a tool that allows for meticulous design and complex functionalities.
Perhaps it’s a good idea to draw up a quick plan of what kind of design and elements you’re looking for before you decide. To achieve your ideal outcome, it’s important to maintain a balance between understanding the tool you’re using and having a clear idea of what you’re building.
With more than 500,000 users worldwide, Glide has proven to be the easiest and friendliest app, providing an accessible interface for building sleek apps that can be easily navigated. Glide’s features and usability make it simpler to edit, manage, and build than most other tools on the market.
FlutterFlow will provide a more original and unique approach to the development of your app. It’s clear, however, that building an app with FlutterFlow will require more of your resources, including time and money. Expect a much steeper learning curve, though you’ll be able to access more complex features and integrations as a result.
Wondering if Glide is the perfect fit for your project, or if a FlutterFlow mobile app is just what your users have been waiting for? Our experts are ready to help you. Let's explore your ideas together!