Google Revamps Firebase As App Platform
Google Revamps Firebase As App Platform
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 19 May 2016

Google has shown off a revamped version of Firebase at Google I/O, with improvements that make use of various Google developer tools such as Cloud Messaging.

The improvements are being seen as providing an alternative for developers left in the lurch when Facebook dropped Parse.

Like Parse, Firebase can be used for mobile app development. Until now its main strength was its realtime database, though it did also have user authentication and hosting. These have been improved and added to.

According to a post on the Firebase blog:

"Firebase is expanding to become a unified app platform for Android, iOS and mobile web development. We’re adding new tools to help you develop faster, improve app quality, acquire and engage users, and monetize apps."

The new version works with apps for Android, iOS or the Web. The blog post says that alongside Firebase, Google is launching a brand new analytics product that ties everything together. What's not clear is how this relates to the Firebase analytics, which were strong in the previous release. The new Firebase Analytics is described as brand new and benefiting from Google's experience with Google Analytics.

Firebase Analytics is designed to show what your users are doing in your app, how paid advertising campaigns are performing, and where your users are coming from. You can define groups of users with common attributes, organized into audiences that can then be used from other Firebase features.

The new Firebase is now integrated with Google Cloud Messaging. This is changing its name to Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM), and supports messaging on iOS, Android, and the Web. Another improvement is the ability to store images, videos, and other large files. This is now possible via Firebase Storage, which is powered by Google Cloud Storage. There's a remote config module that you can use to tune and customize your app on the fly without having to publish a new version, and you can target configurations to specific Firebase Analytics Audiences.
 

Authentication is another area that has been improved, with brand new SDKs, and an upgraded backend infrastructure. The new Firebase also has support for a test lab and crash reporting. Firebase Crash Reporting gives you prioritized, actionable reports to help you diagnose and fix problems in your iOS or Android app after it has shipped, including info on audience sector. Cloud Test Lab, announced last year at Google I/O, has been renamed Firebase Test Lab for Android. It can be used for both automatic and customized testing of your app on real devices hosted in Google data centers.

Other improvements include a new UI that can be used to deliver notifications to your users without needing to code; and Firebase Dynamic Links, a way to take users to a specific place in your app depending on a combination of run-time conditions such as the type of browser or device.
Firebase also has a new console to manage your app that is "deeply integrated" with other Google offerings, like Google Cloud and Google Play.
Along with all the improvements, there's also a new pricing plan with a free tier, fixed-rate plans and pay-as-you-go for more flexibility.
The changes all reflect the fact that Google is putting its might behind making Firebase its recommended platform for developing mobile apps.
firebase

More Information

Firebase Blog

Firebase Site

Related Articles

Google Adds Firebase To Its Cloud

Facebook Shuts Parse

Microsoft Launches Azure App Service

Amazon Web Services Adds API Gateway

Google Provides Backend Services With App Engine 

 

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