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Dropbox releases sync API for iOS and Android

The new API can help cut dev time in half

Dropbox today announced a new synchronization API for iOS and Android-powered devices that it said will offer developers a new code library to help them better focus on creating mobile apps.

The new API is available today on Dropbox's developer's site.

"The API takes care of all the complexity around caching, syncing, and working offline so that apps just work - allowing developers to focus on creating the best mobile apps," a Dropbox spokesperson said in an email to Computerworld.

According to the blog by Dropbox software developer Brian Smith, key features of the Sync API include the Dropbox "built-in" feature, a "write locally, sync globally" tool and the ability to develop offline and have apps sync up when an app comes online.

The new "built-in" feature is a synchronization API that allows an application to work with Dropbox as if it were a local file system on the mobile device. It enables developers to incorporate one of Dropbox's most popular features - syncing -- into their apps, and takes care of caching. "This makes it easier for developers to deliver a seamless user experience across different devices and platforms," the spokesperson said.

The ability to write locally and sync globally allows developers to quickly list the contents of a folder, or move, delete and create files and folders locally and see the results immediately. The Sync API handles caching, retrying uploads and downloads, and quickly discovering changes, leaving the developer with a simple view of files and folders, according to Dropbox.

According to Smith's blog, a few developers have already been building with the new API, including Chris Cox, the developer of Squarespace Note, "who found that it cut his Dropbox code in half."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile apps in Computerworld's Mobile Apps Topic Center.

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