New Sync API to assist developers
One of the most frustrating problems when switching phones is losing app data, or having to manually sync it if the app provides an export. Dropbox is aiming to streamline this process by storing your app data in the cloud.
This isn’t a completely new feature – developers have been able to build this functionality into apps themselves for a while – but until now this has involved the developer doing the legwork rather than Dropbox. However, with the new feature released by Dropbox last week, called the Sync API, it will make it a much simpler process to build the functionality into apps.
Thanks to the Dropbox sync API, data should no longer be scattered across several devices, for example if you use more than once handset and a tablet. Furthermore, there will be the ability to sync data across different ecosystems. This would come in useful should you need to make use of more than one, or if you switch from iOS to Android, for instance.
All of this does depend on developer uptake of course, but it is another bow in the arrow of Dropbox as it looks to step up its pursuit of rival services. iCloud for instance, already offers the ability to store app data in the cloud, but it is not cross platform and is not easily accessible to users. This essentially means it can only be used for syncing to Apple devices, not other platforms.
With several of its competitors now offering media playback from the cloud, Dropbox has its work cut out for it in terms of differentiating itself from others and maintaing a competitive edge. The sync API feature is certainly a way of doing that and it will likely offer its own media playback service in the near future.