Google at its I/O developer conference this week planned to please the community with an updated Firebase Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform. The new move is aimed to help developers build Android, iOS and web apps with an ease and is ultimately targeted to fill the gap left by Facebook’s Parse.
Firebase isn’t new for Google as it was acquired by the search giant back in 2014. But with a view to grow the existing community of over 450,000 developers, the Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) has now been unified into a big platform.
“Firebase is expanding to become a unified app platform for Android, iOS and mobile web development,” Firebase product manager James Tamplin writes in a blog post. “We’re adding new tools to help you develop faster, improve app quality, acquire and engage users, and monetize apps.”
Google has integrated its major developer-focus features into Firebase. These include Google Analytics, App Indexing and AdWords. Additionally, there is Firebase Cloud Messaging that is based on Google Cloud Messaging and an unlimited notification support.
Breeze app development with new tools
To support the development of heavy apps across Android, iOS and mobile web, the unified Firebase platform comes bundled with Firebase Storage. It provides developers with a way to securely upload and download files like images and videos directly using their apps. Tools like Firebase Remote Config, Crash Reporting and Test Lab for Android are also available to breeze app development.
Most of the valuable changes come for free
While major changes within Firebase like analytics, crash reporting, remote config and dynamic links are available free for unlimited usage, service models such as test lab, storage, real-time database and hosting come for some price. However, developers can utilise AdMob integration within the platform to fulfill the expenses.
Firebase comes in a single SDK along with a console. This means that developers don’t need to install multiple programs on their system to enable a unified app development experience.
A worthy alternative to Facebook’s Parse
Google’s plan with updating Firebase is apparent to take the place left by Facebook’s Parse that went offline earlier this year. As Parse didn’t offer features like ad network integration or Google Analytics support, Firebase seems to be its worthy alternative. Moreover, Google is considering the updated Firebase as a “recommended platform” for building mobile apps, no matter whether they are for Android, iOS or mobile web.