Dropbox, folder sync darling of iOS developers and users alike, has announced a new Dropbox Sync API that aims to make implementing in-app sync easier, but also safer and more constrained. The Dropbox blog announced three key parts of the API:
- Dropbox, built in, which lets developers embed Dropbox to the extent that it looks like a local file system inside an app.
- Write locally, sync globally, which lets a developer do basic file system actions like list contents, move, and delete.
- Work offline, which uses local cache to handle operations when not connected to the internet.
The Dropbox SDK has examples of a notes app for iOS that includes just such Sync API integration, to help developers jumpstart their efforts.
I'm not a dev, so I can't claim any deep insight into the challenges of mobile sync. However, having spoken to numerous Dropbox developers in the past, it sounds like the seamless experience users have enjoyed in North America hasn't been easy to implement on their side, and hasn't been as seamless internationally. Obviously, Dropbox's hosts building more data centers outside U.S will help with the latter, while the Sync API is aimed squarely at the former.
That said, for those developers who have already spent time and effort building against the old API, there doesn't seem like there's any reason for them to considering a switch to the new API any time soon.
So we may well see more apps with Dropbox sync in the future, but not necessarily anything transformative-ly better. That means, for me, it still doesn't solve the biggest problem with Dropbox. But I'll save that for a later article. If any developers are giving the new Dropbox Sync API a whirl, let me know your thoughts. For Dropbox users, let me know what you'd like to see improved in the Dropbox apps you're using.
Source: Dropbox blog
Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
Synchronization backend for data and files for multiple mobile platforms - we already had it in http://mobeelizer.com. All I can say "Welcome Dropbox - in the world of making life of the developers easier ;)
Get the best of iMore in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to iMore. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.