First look: AWS Mobile Hub fills the potholes

Developing mobile apps on the Amazon cloud is now significantly easier, at least for iOS and Android clients

At a Glance
  • Amazon AWS Mobile Hub (beta)

When I reviewed the Amazon Mobile SDK and competing products from Microsoft and Google in March, I said, “While the AWS Mobile SDK does what it sets out to do, developing with it is not for novices, JavaScript programmers, or the faint of heart.” I went on to conclude, “The AWS Mobile SDK might be a good choice for native app developers who already have a commitment to Amazon services. If you want an easy-to-learn and easy-to-use MBaaS, look elsewhere.”

Whether or not the AWS engineers heard my criticisms, they have addressed them in the new Amazon Mobile Hub, currently a beta-level service. Rather than fix items at the level of the basic services, Amazon chose to add an integration layer with (gasp!) a reasonably self-explanatory user interface.

As shown in Figure 1, the AWS Mobile Hub is organized into five top-level screens. Each screen leads to additional functionality.

AWS Mobile Hub

Figure 1: AWS Mobile Hub introduces a helpful GUI that walks you through the steps to building your app. The Hub is organized into five top-level screens, each of which leads to additional functionality.

The Configure screen, shown in Figure 2, allows you to set up six areas of functionality for your app: user sign-in, push notifications, app content delivery, user data storage, app analytics, and cloud logic. Green check marks indicate functions that have been configured.

AWS Mobile Hub

Figure 2: The Configure screen allows you to set up user sign-in, push notifications, app content delivery, user data storage, app analytics, and cloud logic.

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