Google Details Google Drive Android API


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Earlier this month, Google upgraded Google Play Services to version 4.1. One of the big features in this latest upgrade was the inclusion of a Google Drive Android API. Now Google has offered more details on what it says provides developers "a faster, seamless experience that enables your apps to integrate with the Drive backend within minutes."

To start us off, Google says the Drive API will sync app data stored locally with Google Drive storage in the cloud. This happens automatically so a users locally stored data will always be backed up on Google Drive. If the user happens to be offline when creating new local data, the Google Drive API will sync that data with the cloud the next time they get online.

With this being Android, the Google Drive Android API has been designed to work on pretty much every device. There are three specific features you should be aware of though:

  • There’s minimal impact on the weight of your apps. As the client library is a stub to Google Play Services, incorporating the API has minimal impact on the size of your .apk binaries, resulting in faster downloads, fewer updates, and smaller execution footprint.
  • User files are automatically synced between different devices (provided the app has the same namespace and is signed with the same key).
  • Any device running the Gingerbread or later releases of Android and Google Play Services will automatically have support for the Google Drive Android API.
  • If you don't want to build your own UI for the new Drive functionality, Google says this initial release comes with both file picker and creator user interface components.

    Specific to Android 4.4, Google notes that the Storage Access Framework is a generic client API that allows apps to communicate with multiple storage providers. They encourage developers to use the the Google Drive Android API as it provides "specialized functionality for interacting with files stored on Google Drive."

    To learn more about the Google Drive Android API, check out the documentation and Google's GitHub page. You can also watch a quick video introduction to the API below:

    Image via Google Developers Blog