Traditional vs. instant app deployment

AppSheet runs on iOS and Android devices. AppSheet supports both the traditional app deployment model as well as an instant deployment model.

The instant deployment model

If you are building an app for your team or employees, it is easiest to use the instant deployment model. Deploying an AppSheet app using the instant deployment model is as simple as clicking a link in an email and following a few simple instructions.

Instant app deployment is possible because the AppSheet apps you build are "hosted" by the AppSheet Hosting application installed on your mobile device. When you deploy and run your app, it will appear to run on its own, but it is actually "hosted" by the AppSheet Hosting application. While not a perfect analogy, you can think of your AppSheet app being hosted in the AppSheet Hosting application much like a web page is hosted in a web browser.

You distribute your app by sending your users an install link by email. When your user clicks this install link on their mobile device:

  1. The user is asked to install the AppSheet Hosting application on their device. They will be taken to the iTunes Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android. If the AppSheet Hosting application is already present on the device, this step is skipped. 
  2. The app icon for your AppSheet app is added to their home screen.
  3. Clicking on this app icon launches the AppSheet app. 

Beyond the obvious simplicity of this approach, there are a few other benefits:

  • Your apps are instantly available. There is no delay between app creation and app deployment.
  • Changes to your apps are instantly available too.
  • All apps automatically benefit from any new features we provide, issues we fix, and performance improvements we make.

The traditional deployment model

The traditional deployment model is to create and submit each app separately to an app store (iTunes Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android). Your users then find and download the app from the app store.

You should consider this model if:

  • The app store discovery and distribution model is important to you.
  • You are aiming for large scale consumer adoption of your app.

Once you have authored and tested your app using the instant deployment model, you can ask AppSheet to generate a "white label" version of the app. This automatically creates the app package that you need to submit to the appropriate app store. Please be aware that you have to go through an approval process mandated by the Google Play Store or iTunes App Store, and your app must conform to the policies of the store.

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