What's new at Firebase Summit 2019

At Firebase, our mission is to help mobile and web developers succeed, but with over 2 million apps actively using Firebase every month, we know that success means different things to different developers. For example, to Le Figaro, the oldest and largest French newspaper, success means increasing paid subscriptions significantly with the help of a combination of Firebase products. For Mighty Immersion, a three person startup on a journey to improve patient care with VR technology, success means scaling their apps to more hospitals as fast as possible using Firebase backend products.

Stories like these are what inspire us to continue investing in our developer community. We all benefit from a vibrant and open ecosystem that helps bring ideas to life.

We’re excited to be in Madrid at the fourth annual Firebase Summit to hear about what you’re building, and share updates on how we’re simplifying your app development workflows and infrastructure needs. Read on to learn about everything that’s new at Firebase Summit 2019! You can also check out the keynote and sessions on our YouTube channel or the summit website.

New tools for building better mobile and web apps

Save time on everyday development tasks with Firebase Extensions

Repetitive app development tasks can slow you down, leaving less time for creating amazing user experiences. To save you time, we’re thrilled to introduce Firebase Extensions, pre-packaged bundles of code designed to automate common tasks in your projects. Whether you want to resize an image, add people to an email list or shorten URLs, we’ve built an array of solutions that you can easily deploy to your projects. There’s no need to write or debug code–it’s all done for you, but you still have the flexibility to configure extensions for your specific use cases. Firebase Extensions are open-source and integrate seamlessly with other Firebase and Google Cloud Platform products. Starting today, you can discover extensions suited to your specific use cases on the Extensions Directory page on our website or Firebase Extensions GitHub repository.

Launch extensions available in Firebase Console
Launch extensions available in Firebase Console

Increase your development velocity with the Emulator Suite

The Firebase Emulator Suite is a fast, rich and safe environment that provides you with a set of local tools for building your next app or feature. Based on your feedback, we’ve expanded the functionality of our emulator suite to include hot reloading for changes to Security Rules and added broader support for client and server side SDKs. We’ve also included support for Realtime Database triggered Functions and developed a new command to tighten how it works with CI. Learn more here.

Firebase Emulator suite now supports Realtime Database & broader client and server side SDKS
Firebase Emulator suite now supports Realtime Database & broader client and server side SDKS

Improved app quality and user engagement

Enhance app stability before publishing with App Distribution

Building apps inevitably comes with bugs, which are important to address before your app is live so they don’t affect the user experience, or your ratings and reviews. Today, we’re excited to announce Firebase App Distribution, which gives you an easy and flexible way to distribute pre-release versions of your apps to trusted testers. App Distribution provides one central hub where you can distribute both iOS and Android test apps. You can also build pre-release testing into your existing workflows with CLI support for Gradle, fastlane and the Firebase CLI. There’s no SDK to install, forms to fill out or review process to go through. Get started with Firebase App Distribution here.

Send pre-release versions of your app to trusted testers via the Firebase console
Send pre-release versions of your app to trusted testers via the Firebase console

Expand your web app capabilities with GA, Remote Config, and FCM

Once your app is running, the next step is to understand your users and identify ways to increase engagement. Users often interact with your business across multiple touch points and on different devices, so today we’re excited to announce we’re expanding our integration with Google Analytics to include support for the web. You can now use the powerful analytics features you’ve enjoyed for native mobile apps–like the ability to segment your audience, trigger actions, and record events and user properties–for web apps. This makes it easier to understand how users are interacting with your apps, no matter what device or platform they’re on. You’ll also now have access to closed funnels just a click away in the Google Analytics UI. And with our recently-upgraded audiences feature, you can create a more personalized experience for your web users with Remote Config or Firebase Cloud Messaging, which are now also available for web.

Google Analytics now supports web apps
Google Analytics now supports web apps

Easily forecast user behavior with Firebase Predictions

Last year we launched Firebase Predictions into general availability, letting you apply the power of machine learning to your app analytics and create smart segments of your users based on their predicted future behavior. We’ve made some recent improvements to the Predictions experience to give you more information and more control. Most significantly, we’ve updated the Predictions interface so you can see the full spectrum of your user’s predicted behavior and target any segment of users depending on your use case. Learn more here.

Increased control, flexibility and transparency

Peek under the hood with more open-sourced SDKs

We believe an open platform is essential to creating powerful software and a connected community. Over the past few months, we’ve open-sourced four additional iOS libraries and four additional Android libraries. Today we’re open-sourcing the new Web SDK releases for Remote Config and Analytics. We’ve also worked closely with Invertase, a company that has created a comprehensive React Native library for Firebase, to ensure their libraries cover all Firebase products. The new React Native Firebase v6 release adds support for every Firebase service and includes a new documentation website, quick start guides, and upgraded SDKs. Get started here.

Limit access to your Firebase projects

In addition to making our platform more open, we’re also making sure you have the right processes in place to keep your data secure. To help you do this, we’re happy to share Firebase Roles and Permissions has graduated into general availability. This battle-tested system lets you use either predefined Firebase roles or create your own custom roles in order to limit access to your Firebase projects and data to the appropriate people. Learn more here.

Other exciting news from Firebase Summit 2019

Reduce test run time with Firebase Test Lab

We’ve made improvements to Firebase Test Lab that allow you to speed up tests with Test Sharding. Test Sharding enables you to divide tests into subgroups (shards), and run them in parallel. Learn more here.

Update on Fabric migration

With the launch of App Distribution, we’ve completed our journey to bring the best of Fabric to Firebase. All of the Fabric features you love can now be accessed in Firebase, and to take advantage of the latest updates, we recommend migrating your Fabric apps and teammates to Firebase today. The Fabric dashboard will sunset on March 31st 2020 and an early migration will ensure that you’re set up for success in your new home. Get started here.

Hello 2020 & beyond!

We’re continuing to invest in Firebase to provide a more helpful platform that simplifies your app development workflows and infrastructure needs, so you can focus on building amazing user experiences. As we continue to grow and enhance the platform, we’d love to get your feedback. Join our Alpha program to get a sneak peek of what we’re building next, share your thoughts with us, and help shape the future of Firebase.