Google offers a number of different products and services for development houses, businesses and various others that could use a computing boost courtesy of Google's hardware. Among those is Firebase, a "backend as a service" product aimed at developers. The service was bought by Google back in 2014 and since then, they have improved upon it to help Android, iOS and web developers to create and maintain apps more easily. With Firebase being a developer tool, it's not a big surprise to see it show up at Google I/O, despite relative obscurity outside of the development world. Google announced today that they would be bringing a number of new features to Firebase and integrating it fully with their existing products and services.
The 470,000-strong developer service is set to gain a new homepage, first and foremost; the main console is now available at firebase.google.com, a testament to the fact that it now allows users to integrate their apps and services with Google's Cloud Services platform and services like Gmail. A glut of new features are also being added to transform Firebase from an on-demand rented backend to a full-on developer platform. Users can now see analytics data on their apps, down to the activities gaining the most engagement and what subsets of users are doing the engaging. The analytics extends to advertising, letting developers see what campaigns are successful and how users are reaching them. Developers can also remotely push changes to an app in real time, without the need for updates. This functionality extends to actionable crash reports, showing developers when and why their app is failing and allowing them to fix it, then push that fix out live.
Aside from analytics and development tweaks, Firebase is also gaining growth-centric features and a scalable subscription model. Dynamic links allow a developer to determine where a link will take a user based on what's going on in the app and other conditions. Invites, indexing in search results, and full Adwords and Admob integration are also on board in the newest incarnation of Firebase. Google Cloud Messaging and Cloud Test Lab have been brought in, renamed Firebase Cloud Messaging and Firebase Test Lab. A new Firebase Storage feature is also packed in, powered by Google Cloud Storage, made to handle poor network conditions with no issue. Real-time database hosting gets a new user interface, and some new SDKs and backend improvements grace Authentication. Finally, pricing has seen an overhaul. A free plan is featured, with somewhat high limits, followed by a few fixed plans that will be a good fit for smaller businesses and development outfits, and, of course, a third option caters to large apps with nearly infinite scalability.