In order to build a photo sharing app, we will need to exchange information between multiple users on multiple devices.

In the Make School Notes tutorial we built an app that only stores information locally on the user's phone. There is no way of sharing information with other users or accessing notes from other devices. This is fine for some apps; however, most applications need to provide a way for multiple users to interact with each other. In such cases we need to store the information used in the app on a server that is accessible by all users.

In this section you will set up a new Firebase project. The contents of this tutorial is as follows:

  1. What is Firebase?
  2. Setting up a new Firebase project

What is Firebase?


Firebase is a mobile backend as a service that was acquired by Google in October 2014. The idea was to allow individual mobile developers to build apps without having to worry about servers.

The role of the backend in an internet application often revolves around data persistence. That means saving the user's data "in the cloud" (your backend servers) so that when they lose their phone, all their data will still be there when they reinstall your app. In reality, it's much more complicated than that, often because applications require specialized business logic. But for many developers Firebase is enough to ship an amazing app, without worrying about writing backend code.

What does Firebase do for us?

Firebase lets you store your data, handle files such as images and videos, and even manages your users' logins and social network connections! We can create an infinite number of projects, ideas, hacks, and applications, without having to write our own backend.

Additionally Firebase provides an iOS library. This makes it easy to interact with the Firebase platform from within our app. Throughout this tutorial you will get to know Firebase in detail. Our very first step is setting up a new Firebase project.

If you're interested in learning more about Firebase and it's capabilities, click here.

Setting up a new Firebase project

Go to the Firebase website by clicking here. You'll need to sign up or log in with your Google account to get started.

Creating a new Firebase project

  1. Get started by clicking on the GET STARTED FOR FREE button or the top right Go to Console button in the navigation bar. Navigate to Firebase Console
  2. This is your Firebase console. Here, you will see an overview of all your Firebase projects. Click Add project to create your first project. Empty Firebase Console
  3. Set your project name to "Makestagram" and select your country. Create New Project
  4. Wait for Firebase to setup your new project and redirect you to the project overview. It can take 15-30 seconds for this process to complete.

Loading New Project

Once you have finished the steps above, you should have a new Firebase project setup. This is the place where we can see and manage our data, user accounts and interface with all the tools Firebase has to offer. It should look like this:

Firebase Initial Project Overview

Next we'll need to create a new Xcode project!


If you have feedback on this tutorial or find any mistakes, please open issues on the GitHub Repository or comment below.

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