Google I/O 2021: Firebase tops 3 million app mark, rolls out bevy of updates

Firebase added a series of emulation, dashboard, testing and extension updates to its mobile platform at Google I/O 2021.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Google's Firebase has more than 3 million apps using its services as the mobile platform has added a bevy of new features for developers.

Firebase was an independent company that was acquired by Google in 2014. Firebase is now Google's lead app development tool with tools to build, release and monitor and analytics for testing and engagement.

At Google I/O 2021, Firebase has a relatively meaty track of sessions

Firebase rolled out the following updates.

Cloud Storage for Firebase is joining its Emulator Suite. The Emulator Suite runs emulated version of Firebase's backend tools on a developer's machine. Storage Emulator can enable uploading, downloading and modifying files to trigger Firebase Cloud Functions. The files will also use Firebase Authentication.

Here's a look at the Firebase Emulator Suite.


Firebase App Distribution support for Android App Bundles. Firebase App Distribution distributes pre-release versions of an Android or iOS app to testers. Firebase is adding support for Android App Bundles to test binaries that Android users install on devices.

Security improvements with App Check. Firebase launched App Check, a security tool available in beta. App Check verifies traffic to and from an app. App Check is available for Cloud Storage, Realtime Database and Cloud Functions for Firebase.

New versions of Firebase web SDKs to beta. Firebase said the new SDKs are smaller and can be trimmed to only import needed features. the smaller footprint speeds up load times.

Extensions to automate code. Firebase Extensions automate tasks and functionality, and new extensions use machine learning to gauge comments, index databases and manage marketing. Firebase is supporting Stripe payments, marketing with Mailchimp and messaging via MessageBird extensions. Here's a look at extensions in Firebase. 

Google Firebase extensions

In addition, Firebase said it improved Crashlytics to measure issues for game developers, added performance monitoring in real-time and a dashboard that makes it easier to surface the biggest performance changes.

Other updates include:

  • Firebase Remote Config to control and change apps and run experiments.
  • A redesigned Remote Config console.
  • A revamped Remote Config A/B test results page.
  • Personalization tools to optimize individual experiences. 
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