Google updates Firebase with new personalization features, security tools and more – TechCrunch

At its I/O developer conference, Google announced a slew of updates to its Firebase developer platform today, which, as the company also announced, now powers over 3 million apps. Several significant updates here center around improving existing tools like Firebase Remote Config and Firebase’s monitoring capabilities. Still, several new features exist here, including the ability to create Android App Bundles and a new security tool called App Check.

“Helping developers be successful is what makes Firebase successful,” Firebase product manager Kristen Richards told me ahead of today’s announcements. “So we put helpfulness and helping developers at the center of everything we do.” She noted that during the pandemic, Google saw many people who started to focus on app development — both as learners and as professional developers. But the team also saw many enterprises move to its platform as those companies looked to bring new apps online quickly.


Maybe the marquee Firebase announcement at I/O is the updated Remote Config. That’s always been a compelling feature that allows developers to make changes to live production apps on the go without having to release a new version of their app. Developers can use this from A/B testing to providing tailored in-app experiences to specific user groups. With this update, Google is introducing updates to the Remote Config console to make it easier for developers to see how they use this tool and an updated publish flow and redesigned test results pages for A/B tests.

What’s most important, though, is that Google is taking Remote Config a step further by launching a new Personalization feature that helps developers automatically optimize the user experience for individual users. “It’s a new feature of [Remote Config] that uses Google’s machine learning to create unique individual app experiences,” Richards explained. “It’s super simple to set up and automatically creates personalized experiences tailored to each user. Maybe you have something that you would like, which would be something different for me. That way, we can get a tailored experience, which customers expect nowadays. We all expect things to be more personalized than they have in the past.”

Google is also improving several of Firebase’s analytics and monitoring capabilities, including its Crashlytics service for detecting app crashes. For game developers, that means enhanced support for games written with the help of the Unity platform, for example, but for all developers, the fact that Firebase’s Performance Monitoring service now processes data in real-time is a significant update to having performance data (especially on launch day) arrive with a delay of almost half a day.

Firebase is also finally adding support for Android App Bundles, Google’s relatively new format for packaging up all of an app’s code and resources. Google Play optimizes the actual APK with the right resources for the device the app gets installed on. This typically leads to smaller downloads and faster installs. On the security side, the Firebase team is launching App Check, now available in beta. App Check helps developers guard their apps against outside threats. It is meant to automatically block any traffic to online resources like Cloud Storage, Realtime Database, and Cloud Functions for Firebase (with others coming soon) that don’t provide valid credentials.

The other update worth mentioning is Firebase Extensions, which launched a while ago but is getting support for a few more extensions today. These extensions from Algolia, Mailchimp, and MessageBird help bring new features like Algolia’s search capabilities or MessageBird’s communications features directly to the platform. Google is also launching a new extension that allows developers to detect comments that could be considered “rude, disrespectful, or unreasonable in a way that will make people leave a conversation.”

Gemma Broadhurst
I am a writer by profession, and I love to write in my spare time. I am one of the most experienced writer for newspriest. I always make sure that whatever is written on my blog is 100% genuine and true. I am a University of Florida graduate pursuing a Master's degree.

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