SAN FRANCISCO — Your Dropbox just got more useful.
Dropbox announced a brand new Datastore API that will allow developers to sync app data between their application and a user’s Dropbox, including things like mobile game saves and to-do lists.
This puts the storage company in direct conflict with Apple’s iCloud platform for syncing data on iOS. And being different than iCloud may be a not-insignificant advantage for luring devs away from Cupertino’s platform. Core Data, the framework Apple uses to control syncing with iCloud, isn’t well liked among developers.
The other thing Dropbox announced is a pair of “drop-ins” — tools that developers can drop in to their existing code to integrate with a user’s Dropbox account.
The first drop-in, called “Chooser,” does exactly what it says on the tin: a user chooses files from their Dropbox inside an app, and can then use the app to work on those files.
Chooser has been around for a few months on the web, but it’s now available for iOS and Android.
The next drop-in is the aptly-named “Saver.” Its end-user experience is simple: users are presented with a button that says “Save to Dropbox.” Once they click that button, they can set a location to save the file in their Dropbox.
Saver then starts a server-to-server communication between the app and the Dropbox server, and moves the item into the user’s Dropbox.
One of the advantages between Saver and, say, saving a copy of a file to the Dropbox folder on your hard drive, is that saving doesn’t rely on the continued connectivity of your machine. Even if your laptop was to be struck by lightning, the file you saved using Saver should, theoretically, still get transferred to your Dropbox because the computer is not involved in the actual save function.
Currently, the new drop-ins have launched on a number of Dropbox’s partners, including Mailbox, Asana and Seattle-based PicMonkey.
[Editor’s Note: GeekWire Chairman Jonathan Sposato is an investor in PicMonkey.]