Dropbox announces 'Dropbox Platform,' aims to sync everything in the cloud

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
At its first-ever developer conference on Tuesday, Dropbox unveiled an ambitious initiative called "Dropbox Platform," a set of APIs that promise to deliver an easy cross-platform syncing solution for just about any form of data.

Dropbox Platform


At the heart of Dropbox Platform is a new API called Datastore, which allows apps to sync almost all types of data, including settings, to-do lists, and game saves, across a number of platforms. The new platform was detailed at Dropbox's event and on its official blog.

"When you use an app built with datastores your data will be up-to-date across all devices whether you?re online or offline," writes Drew Houston. "Imagine a task-tracking app that works on both your iPhone and the web. If it?s built with the Datastore API, you can check off items from your phone during a cross-country flight and add new tasks from your computer and Dropbox will make sure the changes don?t clobber each other."

While a few apps have already been using Dropbox in this manner, the new API will offer developers an easily accessible method to tap into the company's cloud.

Bolstering the Datastore API is Drop-Ins, which allows app developers to build in Dropbox integration with a few lines of code. Drop-Ins has two main parts: Chooser and Saver. Chooser lets users access and extract files and data stored on Dropbox from within a third-party app, while Saver allows access to a Dropbox account for saving data.

Dropbox Platform


Other companies are trying to create similar cloud-based solutions, including Apple with iCloud, though Dropbox's promise of multi-platform compatibility could make it the more attractive option. The service is also growing exponentially, and now has 175 million users, which is up from 100 million in November.

One of the first apps to benefit from the new platform is the Dropbox-owned Mailbox, which rolled out an update for its iOS app on Tuesday. Version 1.4 of the Gmail client takes advantage of Chooser, allowing users to attach files directly from their Dropbox folder.

According to the Dropbox developers webpage, Datastore beta, Chooser and Drop-Ins are available now for iOS, Android and Javascript.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,252member


    Just wait until Google or Microsoft acquires them... I can see it now. Apple should've bought them before they got so popular.

  • Reply 2 of 28
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,292member
    Well, that would be nice. I just configured a friends' iPad and he wanted to have all his MS Office documents locally on his iPad. So I looked around the Dropbox app, and all I could do is add it as a favourite. But I couldn't do it on folders, just files. And you loose the file structure, meaning all files tagged as favourite, available offline, were in one large list. Totally useless, unless you only have a few files to be made available offline.

    I wonder if annoyances like these will convert people to use Macs with iWork. Are there any solutions to convert a whole Windows/Office PC to iWork? Or should I try something like this with Automator? (Talking about 3000 Office Word and Excel files here)
  • Reply 3 of 28
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,292member
    Just wait until Google or Microsoft acquires them... I can see it now. Apple should've bought them before they got so popular.

    Word has it that they asked a 9-digit price, and Apple thought it was too much.
  • Reply 4 of 28
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 2,926member
    Jeez, next will be the iDrop Phone. /s
  • Reply 5 of 28
    zozmanzozman Posts: 391member


    <3 Dropbox

  • Reply 6 of 28
    Dropbox is still my go to app for cross platform data storage. Documents in the cloud needs lots of work for it to be a serious solution. The fact that it is tied to an app and there is no file system makes it difficult to work with.

    I am hoping that the new labeling system can be a solution, but I am not hopeful. There needs to be a way to have different types of files all in the same place. I teach and create folders for each class. These folders contain Word Files, PDF's and Keynote presentations. If there was a way to create a label for each of these files, such as the name of the class. Then they could all be viewed at the same time, this would be very helpful. I could live with converting all the Word files to Pages files without a problem.

    Also, there is no version of Preview for the IPAD. Hard to believe but true. This means that I can't store a PDF file in iCloud and then view it from my IPAD. Apple how hard can this be to do? Add collaborative abilities to the new IWork in the Cloud would be a big plus as well.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    Actually Apple wanted to buy dropbox and put down a large figure on the table but Dropbox said that wanted to be just like Apple and didn't want to be bought.
  • Reply 8 of 28


    I <3 Dropbox as well. Love it.

  • Reply 9 of 28
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,513member
    Love dropbox for storing all my work files, and only use icloud for backup and syncing basic Apple content between devices.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,172member
    I'd get more use out of it if they upped the free storage quota. It's OK, but definitely not something I'd pay a subscription fee for. It's really annoying that a shared folder takes up the full amount of storage on all connected accounts. So if a friend drops a hugs file into a shared folder I have to put up with nags from dropbox about limited storage space.
  • Reply 11 of 28
    irelandireland Posts: 16,555member
    philboogie wrote: »
    Word has it that they asked a 9-digit price, and Apple thought it was too much.

    What I heard was Jobs drank from his tea cupped with both hands and offered $800M and the Dropbox guys said they weren't for sale.
  • Reply 12 of 28


    NSA will definitely love this technology.  Get more people addicted to the cloud, so they can process your information and see what kind of secrets you have and maybe some insider information they can front-run to make some quick bucks.  :)

  • Reply 13 of 28
    irelandireland Posts: 16,555member
    NSA will definitely love this technology.  Get more people addicted to the cloud, so they can process your information and see what kind of secrets you have and maybe some insider information they can front-run to make some quick bucks.  :)

    The faster we have a new political class in Wash the better. There needs to be some major major reform and power restructuring put in place before the whole thing really implodes. Not that it hasn't already.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,123member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post



    Jeez, next will be the iDrop Phone. /s


    they break if you do that! :-)

  • Reply 15 of 28
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RickFaced View Post




    I'm surprised no one has mentioned other competitors.


     



    I'm a big fan of Dropbox but their limited space is something I have to manage constantly and their pricing is quite expensive in my opinion.


     



    I don't know how long this promo will last since Copy.com will offer 15 gigs free plus 5 per referral for early adopters. You start with 15 gigs when you sign up. Plus using the referral link you get an additional 5.




    Please use this referral link to get your 20 gigs. Thanks.

    https://copy.com?r=YjTxeO



     


     


    I was thinking the same thing. I got a Box account that gave me 50GB free. They still offer 50GB I believe but now require an business or school email address to get the 50GB. Sign up with a gmail for example and you only get 5GB free like dropbox. Don't overlook your ISP either, I use Cox Cable and get 15GB free and they have a very nice OSX and iOS app to help sync. 

  • Reply 16 of 28
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post





    The faster we have a new political class in Wash the better. There needs to be some major major reform and power restructuring put in place before the whole thing really implodes. Not that it hasn't already.


     


    Man, you are soooo naive!   Do you really believe that shit?  

  • Reply 17 of 28
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    F*ck Dropbox.  


     


    (and her little dog too)

  • Reply 18 of 28
    isteelersisteelers Posts: 738member
    I wonder if they see the writing on the wall with Apples data centers being built. Apple has a habit of making third party stuff part of their OS and services. Of course one could argue they already had this with iDisk and scrapped it, though they could be coming out with a second revision in the next year or two as part of iCloud. I am sure Skydrive and Google Drive has also entrenched on some of their turf as well.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,292member
    isteelers wrote: »
    I wonder if they see the writing on the wall with Apples data centers being built. Apple has a habit of making third party stuff part of their OS and services. Of course one could argue they already had this with iDisk and scrapped it, though they could be coming out with a second revision in the next year or two as part of iCloud.

    With the EOL of iDisk, I think Apple really wants to kill the hierarchical file structure as they 'promote' to have your documents 'within' the app. Just look where iWork for iCloud is taking us. Then again, they've improved on the Finder in 10.9, making my point moot as well.
  • Reply 20 of 28
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 426member
    dunks wrote: »
    I'd get more use out of it if they upped the free storage quota. It's OK, but definitely not something I'd pay a subscription fee for. It's really annoying that a shared folder takes up the full amount of storage on all connected accounts. So if a friend drops a hugs file into a shared folder I have to put up with nags from dropbox about limited storage space.

    I think it's really annoying that people think other people's work should be free. I have no problems at all to pay for a great service such as dropbox.
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