July 10, 2013
Dropbox Platform To ‘Replace Hard Drive’
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Dropbox is transitioning from a simple cloud-storage app to a comprehensive platform of services that seeks to replace the hard drive altogether.
Speaking at the company's first DBX developer conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Dropbox chief executive Drew Houston unveiled the new Dropbox Platform, a suite of developer tools that make it easier for apps to sync data across devices and operating systems.
Built atop the Sync API, the Dropbox Platform seeks to "replace the hard drive," Houston said.
A key component of the platform is Dropbox's Datastore API, which lets users sync data such as to-do items, contacts and even game states across all types of devices.
"Sync is the new save. We're never going back."
The API also lets apps save and protect user data added or changed while their device is offline.
Houston unveiled another tool, known as a "drop-in," which consists of a few lines of code that developers could use for cross-platform compatibility.
The "Chooser" drop-in gives apps instant access to files in Dropbox, while the "Saver" drop-in provides one-click saving to the cloud.
Both allow apps to easily pull in files from Dropbox.
"Today is the first day of your life where you don't have to worry about this stuff. You can focus on making a great app," Houston told developers.
While these tools have already been around for the Web, they are now available for native iOS and Android apps.
Houston also said that Mailbox, the email app Dropbox acquired in March, will now be able to send attachments directly from within the app - something even the default iOS client can't do. Users simply tap the paper clip icon to open a list of Dropbox files, select an item and the file is sent.
The company also announced a new version of Yahoo Mail for Android with Dropbox integration.
Perhaps the most dramatic announcement during the DBX event involved Dropbox's skyrocketing growth. The company said it now has some 175 million users - up from 100 million last November.
The service is growing "like crazy," Houston said, adding that there are more than one billion files saved to Dropbox accounts every day.
The company has filled a void, and is being used for much more than cloud storage, he added.
The event also saw the launch of several new APIs for the 100,000 apps on the Dropbox Platform.
Yahoo Mail, Shutterstock, PicMonkey, Asana, Animoto, 1Password, CloudOn, FedEx and Fargo are among the third-party firms that have already signed on.