A powerful backend solution is essential for building sophisticated mobile apps. In recent years, Firebase has emerged to prominence as a power-packed Backend-as-a-Solution (BaaS), thanks to its wide-ranging features and performance boosting elements. After being acquired in 2014 by Google, several of its features further got a performance boost. These features have made Firebase quite a popular backend solution for app developers and other emerging IT sectors.
Let us look at its 4 key benefits for cross-platform mobile app development.
Unleashing the power of Google Analytics
Google Analytics for Firebase is a completely free solution with unconstrained reporting on many aspects. The reporting feature allows you to evaluate client behavior, report on broken links, user interactions and all other aspects of user experience and user interface. The reporting helps developers make informed decisions while optimizing the UI and the app performance.
- The unmatched scale of reporting: Firebase analytics allows access to unlimited reports on as many as 500 different events. The developers can also create custom events for reporting as their need suits.
- Robust audience segmentation: The Firebase analytics also allows segmenting the app audience on different parameters and grounds. The integrated console allows segmenting the audience on the basis of device information, custom events, and user characteristics.
Crash reporting to fix Bugs
Firebase also helps to address performance issues of an app by fixing bugs right from its backend solution. It is also equipped with robust crash reporting feature. Its crash reporting helps to deliver intricate and detailed bug and crash reports to address all the coding errors in an app. The reporting feature is capable of grouping together the issues in different categories as per the characteristics of the problem. Here are some of the attributes of this reporting feature.
- Monitoring errors: It is capable of monitoring fatal errors for iOS apps and both fatal and non-fatal errors for Android apps. Generally, reports are initiated as per the impact caused by such errors on the user experience.
- Required data collection to fix errors: The reports also enlist all the details concerning the device in use, performance shortfalls and user scenarios concerning the erroneous events. According to the contributing factors and other similarities, the issues are grouped in different categories.
- Email alerts: It also allows sending email alerts as and when such issues or problems are detected.
- The configuration of error reporting: The error reporting can also be configured remotely to control who can access the reports and list of events that occurred before an event.
- It is free: Crash and bug reporting is free with Firebase. You don’t need to pay a penny to access this feature.
Synchronizing data with real-time database
With Firebase you can sync the offline and online data through NoSQL database. This makes the application data available on both offline and online states of the app. This boosts collaboration on the application data in real time. Here are some of its benefits.
- Real-time: Unlike the so-called HTTP requests that work to update the data across interfaces, the Real-time Database of firebase syncs data with every change thus helping to reflect the change in real time across any device in use.
- Offline: As Firebase Real-time Database SDK helps save your data in local disk, you can always access the data offline. As and when connectivity is back, the changes are synced with the present state of the server.
- Access from multiple devices: The Firebase Real-time Database allows accessing application data from multiple devices and interfaces including mobile devices and web.
- Splitting and scaling your data: Thanks to Firebase Real-time Database, you can split your data across multiple databases within the same project and set rules for each database instances.
Firebase is feature rich for futuristic app development
In addition to the above, Firebase is fully empowered with a host of rich features required for building sophisticated and most feature-rich mobile apps.
Let us have a look at some of the key features of Firebase that made it a reliable platform for cross-platform development.
- Hosting: The hosting feature of Firebase allows developers to update their contents in the Content Delivery Network (CDN) during production. Firebase offers full hosting support with a custom domain, Global CDN, and an automatically provided SSL Certificate.
- Authentication: Firebase backend service offers a powerful authentication feature. It comes equipped with simple SDKs and easy to use libraries to integrate authentication feature with any mobile app.
- Storage: Firebase storage feature is powered by Google Cloud Storage and allows users to easily download media files and visual contents. This feature is also helpful in making use of user-generated content.
- Cloud Messaging: With Cloud Messaging, a mobile app powered can easily send a message to users and indulge in real-time communication.
- Remote Configuration: This feature of Firebase allows developers to incorporate certain changes in the app remotely. Thanks to this, the changes are reflected in the existing version, and the user does not need to download the latest updated version.
- Test Lab: With Test lab, developers can easily test the app in all the devices listed in the Google data center. It can even do the testing without requiring any test code of the respective app.
- Notifications: This feature gives developers a console to manage and send user-focused custom notifications to the users.
- App Indexing: This feature allows developers to index the app in Google Search and achieve higher search ranks in app marketplaces like Play Store and App Store.
- Dynamic Links: Firebase also equips the app to create dynamic links or smart URLs to present the respective app across all digital platforms including social media, mobile app, web, email, and other channels.
All the above-mentioned benefits and useful features that empower mobile app developers to create dynamic user experience helped Firebase achieve such unprecedented popularity among developers worldwide. No wonder, in a short time span it has become a very popular backend solution for so many successful cross-platform mobile apps.
Some exemplary use cases of Firebases
Here we have picked two use cases of Firebase, respectively for one relatively new and successful app and one leading app in its niche.
Fabulous is a unique app that trains users to dispose of bad habits and get used to good habits to ensure health and wellbeing. The app by customizing the onboarding process through Firebase managed to double the retention rate. The app could incorporate custom user experience for different groups of users as per their preference.
This leading mobile soccer app OneFootBall experienced more than 5% increase in user session time thanks to Firebase. The new backend solution powered by Firebase helped the game app engage the audience more efficiently than ever before. The custom contents created by this popular app can enjoy better traction with users thanks to higher engagement.
Juned Ahmed works as an IT consultant at IndianAppDevelopers, a leading Mobile app development company which offers to hire app developers in India for mobile solutions. He has more than 10 years of experience in developing and implementing marketing strategies.