Google gives devs more tools to build and maintain their apps

Google's Firebase wants to be your one-stop shop for mobile app development.

Google Analytics has been one of the most important tools for web developers since its launch a decade ago. Now, Google is hoping its Firebase service can do the same for Android, iOS and mobile web development. At the company's I/O developer conference today, the company announced Firebase Analytics, a free tool that will give you a better sense of how people are actually using your apps. Additionally, Firebase is getting new features including cloud messaging, which lets devs push messages to users through their apps; online storage powered by Google Cloud Storage; and the ability to tweak apps on the fly.

Along with all of the new features, Firebase is also getting a revamped developer console for managing apps, which also includes deeper ties into Google's other dev products. And for those unfortunate instances where your app stumbles, you can implement Firebase Crash Reporting so users can send details of their crashes back to you. Google is also rebranding its Cloud Test Lab, an environment for testing out your app before it goes live, as Firebase Test Lab.

None of this might sound exciting if you're not in the business of app development, but it could lead to better mobile experiences for all of us down the line. Firebase is a cross-platform service, so it's not just devoted to Android apps, and it now has has more than 470,000 developers signed up for its service. And naturally, it's a great way for Google to expand its advertising dominance: As part of Firebase's upgrades, developers can now integrate their apps with Google's AdMob platform more easily.

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