Google App Engine has added a new starter package to speed iOS development. The new service, Mobile Backend Starter for iOS, is designed to speed the development of connected mobile apps without writing server-side code.
The new service allows users to store data in the cloud and share it between users. The libraries also offer a developer the ability to send device-to-device push notifications, use continuous queries to notify the devices of data changes and authenticate users using Google Accounts.
This source code for the entire app, both the backend as well as the Android and iOS clients, is available on GitHub, allowing developers to make customizations as they wish.
Here’s how to get started, according to the Google App Engine blog post with further details here:
1. Provision your backend on App Engine
2. Download the iOS client zip file (or clone from GitHub repository)
3. Run the sample on a physical device (note: the sample does not run on the iOS simulator)
The new service shows the further integration of backend services to allow developers the ability to focus on writing the code. Furthermore, the use of GitHub provides transparency for the developer that they have not had before.
Google Cloud Platform has invested quite a bit into GitHub. In January, it announced the GitHub organization for Google Cloud Platform as a destination for samples and tools relating to App Engine, BigQuery, Compute Engine, Cloud SQL, and Cloud Storage. The post stated that most existing open source tools would be migrated to the organization over time.
Kinvey CTO Morgan Bickle said in an email interview that the key point here is that developers still have to build, deploy and manage everything themselves. It’s an open-sourced, Java-based RESTful web service template ready to run on GAE.