There are some great points raised in this post from Allen Pike, but this sentence from his conclusion should stop you in your tracks if you use Firebase:
all iOS apps should be prepared to migrate off of the Google Analytics, Firebase, Facebook, and Flurry SDKs, potentially on very short notice
I intentionally stopped linking to anything related to Firebase (and similar services) part-way through 2018 as, in my opinion, putting a third-party library at the core of your app was too big a risk. Alan's article isn't specifically about Firebase, but the dependencies you embed in your app, and the privacy policies that come with it, should be a part of your decision process. It's one thing to need to switch out your analytics provider on short notice, but I can't imagine trying to replace Firebase in a non-trivial app.
For full disclosure, Firebase sponsored this newsletter back in 2014.
Using Firebase's powerful iOS SDK, you can easily build realtime apps without worrying about networking, scaling, or writing complicated server code. See how it works and start developing instantly.
Firebase Dynamic Links are smart URLs that allow you to send existing and potential users to any location within your iOS and Android apps, even if they don’t have it currently installed. Once installed, users will be automatically sent to the original link they clicked on and see the content they we’re looking for. Dynamic Links are free forever for any scale, and are already in use by many of the apps you use daily.
Since Parse died (or did it?) the market for cloud hosted data store services has still been evolving, but at a much slower pace than before. There's Realm and of course there are the big players like Azure and Firebase. So what is Cloud Firestore from Google then? Well... it's kinda like the Firebase Realtime Database, but different... Here's a detailed comparison between the two. Interesting!
This isn't surprising, I've been expecting an announcement ever since the acquisition last year. The bad news is that Firebase is now a required dependency if you want to continue using Crashlytics, and that some other features of Fabric are going away completely. It's not that Firebase is bad, far from it! You'll even get more features when you make the switch, but it is a big dependency if you were previously only using Crashlytics.
Firebase seems to be taking over the world a bit, but before you commit to it for your next project read Andrew Bancroft's case for CloudKit. I still think if you're building something truly serious then rolling your own back end is probably the way to go, but I do like CloudKit too.
I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I'm going to try not to judge it before Google get a chance to show what they do with it. Yes, there's a risk that some of these tools will be integrated so tightly with Firebase that they become less useful for those who don't use it, but equally maybe they won't. The Fabric tools never felt like a 100% natural fit at Twitter either, and would they survive the heavily rumoured acquisition by Disney? Who knows. Anyway, I think we have to wait and see what this means for the future of Fabric.
So Google had their I/O conference this week and you almost certainly saw the demo of Google Duplex which has been everwhere since it happened. I don't want to get into it in too much detail here, but my thoughts can be summed up as follows:
I'm quite sure Google thought about all of these points, at length, but these were my initial takes on it.
Anyway, all of that has very little to do with iOS (or even mobile) development, so let's move on. As with WWDC, that main keynote is for the general public and it's the developer keynote that contains the real news for us, and there were several things that stood out to me:
Anyway all of that is interesting to look at but we're here to talk about iOS, so let's get on with those links.