Remote config is short for remote configuration. It’s when the behaviour of features in a mobile app can be remotely changed without an app update. It’s a software development technique that fetches values for default values from a remote server in real time.
When To Use Remote Config
Remote Config can be used during several stages of the app development process. One purpose could be during rollbacks. Usually when an update is made to an app it has to go through an App Store review which can take up to 24hours or longer if the update isn’t approved. This could be detrimental to your app if a bug is found since an immediate update can’t be made. Remote Config allows you to make changes to your app without having to go through the App Store approval process so you can quickly make changes to your live app.
Another use is feature rollouts. Since you can control your app remotely, it’s an easy way to roll out new features in a controlled environment. This means you can determine what percentage of users will get a new feature or group your users into different audiences to roll out a feature to users based on criteria such as their location.
Remote Config can also be used for A/B testing. Through sending a new feature to only a portion of your audience you can see the impact that the new experience has on users.
Implementing Remote Config
A simple way to implement remote config is through feature flags. These can be turned on and off so you can decide who gets a feature and when without making an update in the App Store. Tools like Taplytics allow you to easily create feature flags, and A/B test.
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