Google is pretty well known for building a fast and (usually) reliable infrastructure that can stand up to just about anything short a certain Nexus launch. This is why it came as no surprise when the tech giant announced its own cloud hosting service during I/O 2012, giving developers a path to tap into some of that power. Since the launch, Google has attempted to make its Cloud Platform product as appealing as possible, but the response has been fairly tepid. Yesterday, Google announced the acquisition of a little known company named Firebase, and it might be enough to really get developers on board.
Having just celebrated its 3rd birthday, Firebase is still a small company, but it's had no trouble catching on with the developer community. (Hah, narrowly avoided the obvious pun.) The service aims to do one thing, and do it well: make the fastest and easiest storage and synchronization solution possible. This seems to be working pretty well, because Firebase has already amassed over 112,000 accounts and continues to grow at an alarming rate. The draw is largely built around the combination of real-time sync and a very simple API, which are two things that rarely go together. This is particularly valuable to developers that want to focus on building great mobile apps, but don't have the time to dedicate towards building a back-end server.
In their respective blog posts, both Google and Firebase emphasized the advantages that the other would bring to the table. Firebase is eager to have access to Google's experience with scaling and extensive resources, while Google is looking forward to gaining access to a popular, battle-tested platform that has already proven successful with developers. Google can also look forward to providing the new home to Firebase's existing users, which probably makes both companies pretty happy.
The official announcement may just be coming out now, but the acquisition appears to have been underway for some time. On November 4th at the Google Cloud Platform Live event in San Francisco, the pair is set to release details of the integration between the two platforms and introduce a few brand new features for developers.
There's one additional detail that some may find interesting. Readers may remember Jenny Murphy (now Jenny Tong), the former lead of the Google Glass team. She left Google back in July to join Firebase, citing that she was excited to work at a start-up, again. It's only been about 3 months, but it seems Google can't let her go. There's no word if she'll be sticking around, but we wish her luck with whatever she decides!