Google Firebase Dev Summit 2017 Brings Crashlytics, a UI Redesign, Machine Learning, and Much More!

Google Firebase Dev Summit 2017 Brings Crashlytics, a UI Redesign, Machine Learning, and Much More!

Today in Amsterdam, Google held their yearly Firebase Dev Summit, where they showed off all the new tools and features for developers who are building on the Firebase platform.

While Google’s Firebase Predictions and Native A/B Testing support stole the show at the Firebase Dev Summit, they weren’t the only things announced.

Firebase Predictions Dashboard

First up is Crashlytics. When Google purchased Fabric from Twitter, one of the key pieces they acquired was the Crashlytics crash reporting system. Unfortunately, as with any acquisition, not everything was instantly integrated, despite what we may have wished. Google today is taking a step towards remedying this by fully integrating Crashlytics into the Firebase Console.

This mean that you will have easy access to information about where your app is crashing and how it is affecting performance, all in realtime. With Crashlytics integration, you will have an accessible overview of all known ongoing stability issues in your app, which will make it easy to figure out which bugs are the highest priorities and focus your efforts where they are needed, and potentially catch problems before they become major issues. While it will be a couple more weeks before Crashlytics integration is rolled out across Firebase as a whole, you can test it today at this link if you’re eager to get started.

Crashlytics will also be integrated into the rest of Firebase, bringing the ability to trigger Cloud Functions with Crashlytics events, allowing you to better handle the entire process of responding to crashes, from how your app responds to your users following the crash, to who in your organization the crash gets reported and escalated to. This can potentially be used to directly supply users who encounter particularly egregious ongoing bugs with a more targeted response, either explaining the situation with that bug, or potentially providing a call to action of what they can do to can help fix it going forward.

With the integrated of the Firebase and Fabric teams, Google is also launching a redesigned development console for Firebase, with the goal of making it easier to find the information you care about. Google has broken Firebase’s UI into four main categories in the left-hand navigation bar that they feel represent the app lifecycle: Develop, Stability, Analytics, and Grow. Google also announced at the Firebase Dev Summit that the main page in the Firebase Console, the Project Overview screen, will see a redesign, bringing your most important app statistics to the front and centre. Google will be displaying daily active users, monthly active users, crash-free user rate, and total crashes right on the Project Overview page, with sparklines to show how each of them are trending.

The Analytics section of the Firebase Console will be getting an overhaul as well, with an updated dashboard, and a focus on the information relevant to the latest version of your app, from stability to adoption rate, all updated in realtime. As with the Crashlytics integration, it will be a couple more weeks before the Firebase Console updates are rolled out across Firebase as a whole, but you can test it today at this link if you’re eager to get started.

Of course, the 2017 Firebase Dev Summit wouldn’t be complete without updates to the Cloud Messaging APIs. Google has announced that Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) will be improving its ability to send cross-platform messages. Instead of having to create seperate messages for each platform, Google is launching a new RESTful API for FCM that will allow you to create the message once, and include the platform specific fields in that single notification. This will allow developers to take full advantage of platform specific notification features, like click_action support on Android, without having to segment your notification and users based on OS platform and send multiple API calls. Documentation of FCM and this feature is available at this link.

As with many Google events, there was simply too much to announce all the new products at the Firebase Dev Summit itself however, with Cloud Firestore’s announcement coming earlier this month instead.

Looking towards the future, Google also talked about how they are preparing support for the European Union’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ensuring that both Firebase itself and any organization using Firebase will be ready to easily support it, with documentation, tools, and data processing agreements where appropriate. You can read more about what Google is doing to prepare for GDPR in their FAQ.

Which new feature announced today are you most looking forward to? Are there any particular problems you would still like to see solved in the future? Are you planning on using these new tools? Let us know in the comments!

About author

Steven Zimmerman
Steven Zimmerman

Steven grew up wishing he could take the internet everywhere with him. His first smartphone was an HTC Legend, and he's been tinkering and playing with Android ever since. With a background in accounting, he strives to bring a unique perspective to the tech journalism world.