Google has today released a major update to Firebase, the real-time app testing back-end service it acquired in late 2014. These feature additions to the backend-as-a-service(Baas) platform, which were first announced at Google I/O Devcon earlier this year, are aimed at turning it into a unified app development service for developers. The Mountain View tech behemoth is focused on pushing boundaries to provide an enhanced experience to developers, be it iOS, Android or any other web platform.
Today’s update to Firebase, announced at Firebase Dev Summit in Berlin, brings in tow the first public release of Crash Reporting, a tool that enables you to diagnose your app by providing comprehensive actionable insights into the errors. Google will now pull event data from Firebase Analytics to chart the state of your app leading to the crash. This feature works both on Android and iOS and automatically logs app runtime data without the addition of any additional code to the app.
And while we are on the topic of Firebase Analytics, let’s check out the features updates that have been introduced in the same. According to the official release blog post,
Firebase Analytics now offers live reporting, a new integration with Google “Data Studio”, and real-time exporting to BigQuery.
Analytics is the core of the Firebase backend service and this update allows developers to dig deeper to extract more meaningful data about their applications. Though some of these services aren’t real-time, which isn’t a problem, but Google is now steering the service to include more real-time features. Uploading of conversion events — to quickly create and react to events, exporting to Big Query — data from Analytics to cloud, DebugView, and StreamView will now operate in real-time.
The company has also laid emphasis on improving the connection of the underlying Firebase Analytics service to other features such as Dynamic Links and Remote Config, to target users by their specific properties instead of a general audience. In addition, Google is aware of the fact that using BigQuery can become expensive so it has also introduced a free tier, restricted by the number of queries.
Lastly, for those unaware, Google announced the launch of its cloud-based remote app testing tool called Firebase Test Lab(previously known as Cloud Test Lab) at the I/O Conference six months ago. This tool basically runs your application tests on physical(and virtual) devices in its data centers and provide you with a comprehensive guide to any error reports via its analytics system.
With today’s update, the company is expanding the scope of its free tier to provide developers with five tests per day on physical devices and ten tests per day on virtual devices. Google has updated the device options with the addition of 11 new popular Android models. You also don’t even require to add credit card info to activate the same.
Also, Firebase has also introduced some minor changes to enable developers to build better games and access an improved and easier UI. The company has built a new Unity plugin that supports Firebase Analytics, the real-time database, authentication, dynamic links, remote config, notifications and much more for game developers. This is accompanied with the new version 1.0 of the FirebaseUI, an open-source library that provides common UI elements for building apps and its integration with Firebase — to provide access to all handy features.