Tech giant Google’s I/O 2017 developer conference, which runs from May 17-19, continues today with more announcements, including a series of announcements involving Firebase, the company's Web application and mobile development platform.
The Firebase faithful were rewarded yesterday with news of new authentication tools for iOS, Android, and Web environments, new integration with Google’s hosting services, more simultaneous user connections, additional support for Android game developers, and new real-time analytics to allow developers to view events as they appear in their apps.
Integration with Fabric
The most significant development for Firebase stems from its recent acquisition of Fabric, a mobile app development platform from Twitter. The deal, which was announced in January, brought Fiber and its Crashlytics tool into Firebase, and developers have been eager to see what Google would do with its new toys.
Although it's still early days for the integration between the two platforms, the Firebase team announced that it had already relaunched Fabric’s popular Digits tool. Now rebranded as Firebase Auth, the new feature became available yesterday for both iOS and Web apps, with Android support rolling out over the next few weeks.
Firebase Auth is a smartphone authentication function that allows developers to include the ability to authenticate a user’s identity by using the individual's phone number with a single click. Firebase Auth verifies that the phone number submitted by a user is registered with the app, then texts a one-time authentication code to that phone.
Google said that Firebase Auth includes all of the benefits that Digits provided, while bringing new advantages to the table, such as greater stability, thanks to the addition of Google’s own telephony and login technology. The company is also providing a headless API for the tool, allowing developers to fully customize the interface to fit with the needs of their apps. Google is also giving developers access to an open-source UI library containing some of the best practices for user interfaces.
Crashlytics for All
The other big news from the Fiber acquisition is Google’s integration of Crashlytics. Google announced that it has brought the popular analytics tool onboard to serve as its combined flagship crash reporting tool. Crashlytics provides real-time data on the stability of apps in the field, including information on app crashes and errors. It also provides useful information such as stack traces and device information to help developers diagnose problems.
For example, Crashlytics also provides business intelligence analytics by supplying statistical information on how such errors impact business goals such as click-through rates and user retention. Crashlytics will be combined with Firebase’s existing crash reporting tool to create a single tool.
Apart from the Fabric integration, Google announced several other new Firebase features yesterday. The company has added support for Android game developers to the Firebase Test Lab tool, with new performance metrics to allow game developers to see how much memory, CPU, and network resources their games use. Test Lab will also allow game designers to run game loops and analyze graphics performance issues.
Firebase clients can also access new features that are in development thanks to its new Alpha program, also announced yesterday.