Firebase’s biggest appeal might have been it’s Real Time Database (RTD) last year, but now it is maturing into a multi-tool vendor. Once praised by independent developers, Firebase now has products that can help any project, big or small. Let’s take a look at what’s new as of Google I/O ‘18.
Firebases’ NoSQL Cloud Database is the next step in cloud data storage. Instead of storing the data as a flat JSON tree, each entry is a record. It has all the same benefits as RTD, but also faster queries, fine grained security rules, and better scaling. More is sure to come as this product is currently in Beta.
Passwords have always been cumbersome, and Firebase knows that. They have many ways of avoiding the doom of remembering yet another password. There are the standard ways such as Facebook, Google, or e-mail authentication, but now users can authenticate via phone number or a Google-generated link. Less signup resistance means more possible users enjoying content!
Machine Learning is here to stay. Companies are always trying to find ways of making the user experience better in one way or another, and Machine Learning can sure help! By using ML Kit, apps can now have access to some of Google’s awesome features: face detection, barcode scanning, text extraction, image labeling, and landmark detection. If developers are looking for a more specialized model, TensorFlow Lite models can be uploaded and used. This saves on needing to have the model downloaded, or shipped with the app, and continually updated.
Firebase Crash Reporting (FCR) will be discontinued in September, but that’s only because Firebase is bringing a better crash reporting tool to the field. With Crashlytics, you will be able to get everything FCR had to offer but with a better look into your crashes.
With so many products, there is without a doubt something for everyone. Because Firebase knows one of the hurdles of using an SDK is the implementation, they have made sure to make it as smooth as possible. Some SDKs only need one line of code in order to be fully operational. It is becoming a dominant player in the space of backend, reporting, user outreach. Can’t wait to see what they have coming in the next year!