Firebase Launches Precheck Feature for iOS Apps

Firebase Precheck for iOS developers

Firebase Precheck for iOS developers

One of the more frustrating aspects of building and deploying a new iOS app is being rejected by the App Store. Firebase has a handy new tool called Precheck that monitors your app to make sure it meets certain criteria so you can sit back and relax.

The feature comes via Fastlane, which Firebase (Google, really) picked up when it acquired the Fabric toolkit from Twitter. Fastlane’s proverbial bread and butter is saving developers time; it claims over 7.2 million hours have been saved using its various services. Other features include automated localized screenshots and automatic creation and maintenance of code-signing certificates.

Firebase Precheck

Firebase Precheck

This latest feature focuses on the finer points of app submission. From Firebase:

Often, apps get rejected from app stores because of simple, solvable issues with their metadata (such as title, description, changelog, keywords, etc.). Once rejected, you have to resubmit your app and it can take days before it’s reviewed again. This wastes time and can throw off your schedule.

In its example, Firebase says it makes sure no other platforms are mentioned in the app description (“find us on Google Play,” for instance) and that you haven’t used curse words in your copy. Precheck also monitors placeholder text, and clicks links to make sure no URLs are busted. If it finds a problem, Precheck flags it so you can fix it as you see fit.

The curious angle in all of this is that Precheck is iOS-only. Likely a feature in the works before the acquisition, it’s interesting that a developer-facing product from Google’s Firebase doesn’t offer compatibility with Android. There’s some deep linking that could occur between Precheck and Google Play, but that’s not happening – at least not yet.

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