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Google today is announcing a few updates to the services in its Firebase cloud service portfolio.

Instead of being a premium feature, the Firebase Test Lab tool for testing apps on physical and virtual devices will now be available free of charge as part of the Spark service tier. Plus, Google is adding new physical devices to test on the Nexus 6, the LG G4, Sony’s Xpedia Z3 and Z5, Galaxy S series devices, and Moto G series devices from Lenovo’s Motorola unit.

“We’re further giving developers access to devices that otherwise they might not get,” Google product manager Francis Ma told VentureBeat in an interview.

This announcement comes a few days after Google said it would begin offering Android developer previews through the virtual devices in Firebase Test Lab.


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Competing cloud infrastructure provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) also offers testing on physical devices.

But beyond Firebase Test Lab, Google is also adding the ability to export data from Firebase Analytics — something that was introduced earlier in the year — to Google’s BigQuery cloud-based data warehousing service. From there, companies can send data to third-party business intelligence tools like Qlik and Tableau. There’s currently no way to circumvent BigQuery, Ma said.

To enhance Firebase Analytics further, Google is introducing a preview of something called a StreamView, which “lets developers see in real time a stream of events from all of their end users out in the wild,” Ma said. There is also a new DebugView to make sure that their analytics setup is working properly and events are coming in as they should.

Also today, Firebase is announcing the launch of a Unity plugin that enables developers building apps with the Unity game engine to easily start using Firebase’s analytics, authentication, dynamics links, notification, and real-time database features.

And the Firebase Crash Reporting feature is out of beta now.

See Ma’s blog post for more detail.

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