Google makes move into low code app space with App Maker

(c) McComber

Google has announced the launch of App Maker, marking its entry in the low-code app development platform market.

The product, which runs on the same infrastructure as G Suite – Google’s selection of apps including Gmail, Drive, and Calendar – offers a drag and drop UI editor, as well as support for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript standards among others.

“Whether you’re looking for better ways to onboard new team members, staff projects, or approve employee travel requests, App Maker helps you build an app for that in days instead of months,” Elissa Murphy, vice president of engineering for G Suite, wrote in a company blog post announcing the move.

Google also published a video from prospective App Maker customers, with the most interesting being the state of Wyoming, which has created an app to automate its flexible benefits enrolment plan, used by approximately 10,000 people. The time and effort reduced on data entry was the obvious benefit, but the perspective from senior developers – one of whom was ‘very sceptical’ about the tool but changed his mind – was also interesting.

Regular readers of this publication will not be surprised by the technology used here, but Google entering this market is worth noting. Microsoft is the clear equivalent with its PowerApps product, launched at the back end of last year, but the majority of players in the space are disruptive startups, from Capriza, to PowWow Mobile, to SkyGiraffe.

Back in September, this publication mused on the changing market, from low code, to no code, and concluded that while issues have to be ironed out, the fall of players such as Reddo Mobility and StarMobile – which has since been picked up by PowWow – indicates maturation.

Google’s entry therefore indicates a further inflection point. The company is accepting applications for its early adopter program, which can be found here.

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6 Dec 2016, 11:42 a.m.

It is good to see that big tech guys like Google are jumping in to the low-code industry with App Maker. The idea to create web apps quickly without or with little coding skills is not new. For the google eco-system it makes totally sense to mesh all there services into one "app maker" to connect the various products from google. Salesforce is long out there with Force and startups are also working on app builder platforms like which aims to be a no-code platform. With Google App Maker you still have to code to create workflows and business logic for your app. Another one is betty blocks from Netherlands, they are also on the run to make life easier to build apps.