Google Replacing Drive Android API with Drive REST API

The Google Drive API makes it possible for developers to add Google Drive file access to their own apps. Well, Google plans to retire the Google Drive Android API next year and replace it with the Google Drive REST APITrack this API. Get ready to migrate your apps before December 6, 2019. 

Google says the drive (pun intended) behind this change is to simplify the options available to developers. In order to do this, Google will retire the Drive Android API so it can focus all its attention on improving the features available in the Drive REST API. All the features of the Drive Android API are found within the Drive REST API. 

For example, the API allows people to share and collaborate from Google Drive. Developers can manage permissions or prompt the Share dialog to keep it simple for end users. The REST API supports file comments, meaning collaborators can leave notes for one another inside the file as annotations. The API enables file search via traditional indexing or customized indexable text. The API allows developers to enable the Changes collection, which will detect and track file changes. This allows team members to see what edits are being made to files over time. Google says this functionality includes files that have been shared via Team Drives. Last, the API makes it possible for users to export and convert Google Docs so the host app can open it properly. 

Google suggests developers who've put the Drive Android API to work in their app migrate their existing applications to the similar services provided in the Drive REST API. Google has published a migration guide to help developers make the transition. It offers details on the replacements for each of the major services powered by the Drive Android API. The Documentation includes a sample application (via GitHub) and demonstrates how each proposed replacement will work. 

Apps that have not been migrated to the Drive REST API will lose features that reply on calls to the Drive Android API after December 6, 2019 -- or exactly one year from today. Google notes that apps that use the Drive Android API for offline syncing will be able to provide an offline-first model, which is available in the Drive REST API. 

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