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Developers building apps on top of Facebook’s Parse can now rely on built-in crash reporting, letting them minimize the use of third-party tools. They’ll also for the first time be able to build iOS apps that work offline.
Parse offers a mobile backend for developing and running apps, as well as mobile app analytics and a push notification tool. It appears to be trying to make life easier for the thousands of developers who use Parse, and who have so far built more than half a million apps with it.
Until now, Parse users have had to incorporate outside tools to register, track, or resolve crashes, a cumbersome process involving multiple software development kits, APIs, and dashboards that can weigh down the development process. But with Parse Crash Reporting, which is now incorporated into the iOS and Android Parse SDKs, a built-in interface automatically detects the bug, highlights the problem, and issues a report. Those reports automatically cache and resend in case of poor Internet connectivity.
Parse is a bit late to the game when it comes to adding crash reporting tools. New Relic, which is expected to go public this week, as well as Crashlytics, which Twitter purchased in early 2013, both offer such tools.
In the meantime, Parse in April introduced what it called the Local Datastore. Designed exclusively for Android at the time, the new tool made it possible for apps built on Parse to run whether or not a user has connectivity. Today, the Local Datastore is now available for iOS as well.
Parse said that apps can be made to work offline with nothing more than a few lines of code. The idea is that developers can identify essential app elements that can be stored offline — in the local datastore — which can be accessed regardless of Internet status.
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