June 26, 2012
Here I am reviewing an app for iPhone (and iPad, universal) written by DeuceSoft, a small company that makes it possible to browse data stored in Google’s latest online app, Fusion Tables.
What is Fusion Tables? It’s difficult to describe just what Fusion Tables is. You have to see it for yourself.
No, just kidding. Fusion Tables is more like a database than a spreadsheet. Unlike a spreadsheet, Fusion Tables is rather a kind-of cloud-based database where you can comfortably, via web interface, edit fields, edit data, and you can also visualize data in charts and on maps. In spreadsheets, you have rows 1, 2, 3, 4, etc and columns A, B, C, D, but in Fusion Tables (and any other database) you have fields of various types, each field having its own proper name (and not just letter of alphabet) and values in them.
I will not reveal for what purposes I am using Fusion Tables myself, but to demonstrate/review this app, I have uploaded part of my DNA (genome, from my genetic test done by 23andMe Inc. company) – mitochondrial DNA – to Fusion Tables and I have browsed it with this app. However, applications are numerous and only imagination is your limit (as it is cloud based database and it’s powered by Google’s massive infrastructure you can store and browse even huge data sets that have several gigabytes, maybe even terabytes).
Most common application of Fusion Tables is for mapping purposes (for example some statistics embedded on some other website) so no wonder maps are featured in the splash screen of this app.
Since data in Fusion Tables is stored in Google’s cloud, you have to enter your Google account (login name, password).
You can also use “Public” to browse Fusion Tables that people made public so that everybody can see without access restrictions.
Since this is an app for browsing data, you have to add a query, either SQL-based (some formulas) or friendly crated with user interface (first button on the left “Add Query”).
The most important thing is that you have to pick which table in Fusion Tables you want to browse.
You also have to pick how you want to browse it (Simple Table, Record Tample) and most importantly also select which columns you wish to see.
In my sample data case here I want to query my DNA test, i.e. scan of my genetic code, particularly the part in mitochondria, but the columns are typical to all genetic tests with SNPs in them, whereby most interesting, of course, are rsid (the unique name of this DNA variation) and genotype (the value of code, where only 4 possibilities are allowed: G, T, A, C – computers have 1 and 0 and we animals have these 4).
You can filter the data that you want to see. In my case, I only want to see those SNPs that start with “rs…” as they are most relevant for searching in related scientific research.
Now that the query is ready, I can comfortably query some of my genetic code.
Here is another (more typical for Fusion Tables) example with places and locations (something about butterflies or so).
You can visualize it all immediately in app in the map.
All in all, this app works reliably for data browsing purposes off Fusion Tables. Since you can upload almost any data to Fusion Tables (in this example I uploaded my genetic code), and edit it comfortably via web interface (internet browser), with this app you can rapidly access data in read-only mode.
While I don’t want to say for what purposes I use Fusion Tables myself, suffice it to say I consider it the best service Google has ever created. Simply out-of-this-world great.
It’s a great app, but it lacks editing ability (adding new data, editing old data) so it will be interesting only for people who want to query or visualize their previously stored data, not for people who need to edit it often. In any case it is must-have app for Fusion Tables users who own iOS device as it is currently the only such app.
To get this app (price: $1.99, universal) tap here:
My Fusion Tables for iPhone / iPad.