iOS developers got new cloud based development tools from Google last week. The new service by Google will let developers use all utilities of a cloud while developing new apps. The development tools are free and can be used by any iOS developer to:
– Access cloud services
– Develop keeping cloud services in mind
– Use cloud functions
– Access development tools from anywhere
The new development tools are called Mobile Backend Starter for iOS. The service provides a few new features to developers for iPhone and iPad apps and these include:
The infrastructure is similar to the Google App Engine that was released in April. Developers can start using it by filling out a web form to create a backend for their application. They then need to use Xcode and appropriate Google authentications and connections.
Backend Starter can be advantageous to some iOS developers mainly because it is free. Developers will benefit from Backend Starter due to the following reasons:
- It will be free always if the scale isn’t too significant.
- Developers can save their energy and time as most of the major work is done automatically.
- Developers can use open source code provided at Github to explore the service further.
- Because most of the work will be done automatically, developers will have time to concentrate on the user interface of their apps to make it more effective and easy to use.
- It can use used to create cross platform applications.
- The same cloud platform will be used on both Android and iOS apps which means storage and compute will be similar.
- Data processing can be done entirely through the cloud, making applications easier to develop and debug.
- Cloud data processing will favor real time connected apps.
- All data storage, computer performance, user authentication and messaging will be handled by Google owned developer-centric platform.
- Google may move to centralize all app developments which is highly advantageous to developers who want to create cross platform apps.
Google’s Backend Starter will put pressure on companies that have already tried to do something similar. One such company is Zend, who have used a PHP backend cloud service. It is even a bigger threat to Apple’s Xcode which didn’t focus on cloud and had developers work within the boundaries of it. Developers had to focus on how good the user interface of the application is to make it better than their competitors as nothing was created considering cloud.
Apple did try to fulfill the cloud needs of developers by launching iCloud and Core Data but these services don’t have the features offered by Backend Starter. They were clouds that simply carry data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone. These services were slow and did not offer the performance that developers require. Google’s Backend Starter has opened a door to cross platform development which may change the entire app development playground in the future.