New Google Drive API Eases Integration in Android Apps

Romin Irani
Jan. 17 2014, 09:52AM EST

As an Android Developer, you know that allowing your application users to store data in the cloud and use it across various devices is important. Storing user data in Google Drive has been one of the options available and with the release of a Drive API preview in the latest release of Google Play Services, the task has not only been made easier but with auto sync in the background and new Android UI components that provide a much tighter integration, you get a lot of powerful features too.

Google Play Services 4.1 was rolled out last week to Developers with support for Turn based Multiplayer Games, improved sharing support for G+, an updated AdMobs package and a Drive API. Magnus Hyttsen, Developer Advocate for Google Drive wrote a blog post on the Drive API and highlighted features of the Preview version that make it attractive to Android Developers.

The library addresses key points to make it suitable for the Android environment: It is available on devices running the Gingerbread or later releases of Android and Google Play Services, minimal impact on .APK size and automatic syncing of user files across different devices.

Developers no longer have to worry about the current state of syncing files with Drive, in case the application goes offline. Support for offline is provided by the API by storing the data locally and then Android SyncScheduler takes care of syncing the data up when the connection is back. This will make for cleaner code and more productivity for developers, plus addresses a key requirement for Mobile applications i.e. to work offline.

User Experience is also key in Android applications and how they interact with Google Drive. To streamline that, the Drive API introduces two user interface components, file picker and creator, which are implemented via standard Android Intent mechanisms, that developers are familiar with.

To get started with the Drive API, check out the documentationdemo and sample applications at Google Drive GitHub repository.

Romin Irani Google Developer Expert Cloud 2014. Romin loves learning about new technologies and teaching it to others. Follow me on Google+

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