While many developers have done a fine job of implementing Dropbox functionality in their Android applications, the folks at Dropbox feel an improved API is necessary to help development along even further. It’s always a wonderful day when APIs are opened up and improved to help developers instead of locked down tight or intentionally made to cripple third-party development (coughTWITTERcough).
The latest API makes it easy to implement Dropbox syncing, allowing apps to work with Dropbox files as if it were a local filesystem. This is similar to how Dropbox is implemented for desktop platforms so with the right coding we could see those feature mirrored in a mobile app sometime soon. Improved support for local caching makes it easier to create offline features, as well. Here’s a full list of what to expect:
- Dropbox, built in: The Sync API lets apps work with Dropbox as if it were a local filesystem on the device. It enables developers to incorporate one of Dropbox’s most popular features — syncing — into their apps, and also takes care of caching. This makes it easier for developers to deliver a seamless user experience across different devices and platforms.
- Write locally, sync globally: Developers can quickly list the contents of a folder, or move, delete and create files and folders locally and see the results immediately. The Sync API handles caching, retrying uploads and downloads, and quickly discovering changes, leaving the developer with a simple view of files and folders.
- Work offline: Because the Sync API caches locally, apps work great even without an Internet connection, and are synced up when the app comes online.
The new API was said to cut the amount of Dropbox-related code in half for developer Chris Cox’s Squarespace Note, and if that little tidbit alone isn’t enough to get you developers excited then see what it can do for you by giving it a whirl yourself. Head to Dropbox’s developers’ site to get started.