Remember Firebase, a.k.a. the backend-as-a-service (BaaS) provider that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) acquired in October 2014? Now, Firebase is expanding to become a "unified app platform for Android, iOS and mobile web development."
Firebase has introduced a number of tools that may help developers build better apps, including:
Firebase Analytics -- a free analytics service that empowers developers with insights into what users are doing in an app.
Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) -- officially replaces Google Cloud Messaging and supports messaging on iOS, Android and the web.
Firebase Storage -- developers can store images, videos and other large files.
Firebase Remote Config -- devs can customize their apps on the fly. Remote Config allows them to change the look and feel of an app without having to publish a new version of it.
Firebase Crash Reporting -- offers reports designed to help diagnose and fix problems in an iOS or Android app after it has shipped.
Despite all the changes, Firebase plans to provide developers with the same level of support.
"Many things are changing, but Firebase's core principles remain the same," Firebase wrote in a blog post. "We care deeply about providing a great developer experience through easy-to-use APIs, intuitive interfaces, comprehensive documentation and tight integrations. We're committed to cross-platform development for iOS, Android and the web, and when you run into trouble, we'll provide support to help you succeed."
The new Firebase features represent a win-win for both Google and Firebase customers as well.
Ultimately, Google customers can use Firebase to write apps faster than ever before, while Firebase users can leverage the Google Cloud Platform to optimize their offerings.
Today, more than 450,000 developers leverage Firebase, and the new Firebase features could make the platform more appealing to a broad range of developers.
Firebase also will continue to consider innovative ways to improve its offerings to better support developers going forward.
"We're adding new tools to help you develop faster, improve app quality, acquire and engage users and monetize apps," Firebase noted. -- Dan