UPDATED 16:00 EST / MAY 11 2022


Google’s Firebase app development platform gets updates and security boosts

Google LLC announced today at its I/O developer conference a number of updates for Firebase, its application development platform for developers, that include new extension events, native support for Swift, App Check security enhancements, new performance monitoring and more.

Developers can quickly build apps using Firebase Extensions, which are pre-packaged pieces of code containing common features developed by Google and other third-party companies. Today, Google announced “Extension events,” which allow developers to further extend the functionality of Extensions by allowing them to trigger other pieces of code.

For example, an Extension from Stripe can be used to provide users a subscription for billing and a trigger can be added to that when a customer cancels payments it can offer a discount to get them to resubscribe.

Firebase is being updated to fully support Apple’s Swift language features and its software development kits. That will make it easier to use Firebase’s capabilities on macOS with Swift when using database calls with Firestore, Realtime Database and Remote Config.

Because protecting backend infrastructure is important, Firebase App Check defends against billing fraud, phishing, app impersonation and data theft. Today, Google announced that App Check has graduated from beta to general availability and an integration with the Play Integrity application programming interface, which protects applications from unauthorized access.

A few months ago, Firebase received performance monitoring capabilities regarding latency issues affecting apps so that developers could monitor networking affecting their apps. Now, developers can set up custom alerts including code traces, network requests, screen renderings and web traces that trigger at set thresholds. This feature also recently launched into general availability.

Equally important is crash reporting, a capability delivered by Firebase Crashlytics, which now integrates with Google Play and Android Studio. With the Google Play integration, it is possible to distinguish between internal testing and production bugs and quickly triage crashes. Now with integrated with Android Studio, Crashlytics also allows developers to investigate and reproduce reported problems rapidly by highlighting the lines of code at issue so that they can be fixed quickly.

Finally, with the launch of Flutter 3, Google’s open-source framework for building native multiplatform apps from a single codebase, all of Firebase’s plugins for Flutter have been moved to general availability. Official Flutter documentation, snippets and customer support have also merged with Firebase, so now developers can use the two together with ease.

In a related announcement, Crashlytics support for Flutter has also been updated so that developers can monitor their apps in real time and fix stability issues quickly. Developers can now receive alerts from Crashlytics via a plugin when critical issues arise in their deployed apps so that they can be detected before they affect too many users.

Image: Pixabay, Firebase

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