Android Firebase and linking phones together


I was learning about networking in gamemaker, creating a server and using networking TCP and fully grasped the concept and how to do this. However, I feel that perhaps maybe this isn't the method to go about connecting different devices together and instead maybe we should be using Firebase or other free Google Cloud services? Is this correct?

This is more geared towards making a messaging type apps like groupme or Venmo where you can connect with users and send information via push notifications essentially. Its not designed to be an app that needs everyone to be connected to a server to work.

I've been doing some reading with Firebase and cloud stuff and the setup seems a bit complicated for me to setup right now. Is it ok that for the development process, I could use treat the app as a normal networking game as a placeholder then transition to the firebase cloud stuff later? I think the process is pretty much the same on the receiving end and I would eventually be replacing the GM created server with Firebase/Google cloud services

Just looking for information on what I should expect moving forward!

(@Nocturne since you wrote the article on FB haha)
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