The Dropbox Platform arrives to ‘replace the hard drive’ with a sync API, a ‘universal file picker’, and more

The Dropbox Platform arrives to ‘replace the hard drive’ with a sync API, a ‘universal ...

Dropbox announced today the launch of a new product it’s calling the Dropbox Platform, which will all but replace a user’s hard drive, allowing for a new solution to solve the issue of lost files.

The Dropbox Platform is built on top of the sync API — everything packaged up in a neat way to make file syncing simple, especially for developers who want to build their apps on top of the service.

Another feature of the platform is the concept of Drop-Ins. These are cross-platform optimization UI components that developers can integrate quickly. With Web and mobile experience, it’s the file picker for all devices, helping to not only access files, but save them to Dropbox.

Lastly, it includes a datastore API that Dropbox says will enable developers and customers to sync more than just files. Through this feed, structured content such as contacts, to-do items, and even game states can be synced across all devices. Houston says that it started with a “crazy idea” where they hoped to keep your app’s experience in sync across platforms.

The news comes as it revealed that its service has grown to more than 175 million users.


At the company’s inaugural developer conference, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston took the stage to share more insights into the future of the service. He talked about the time when everyone remembered when they had email on their phone and now had the time on their hands to be more productive while having downtime, like waiting in line at a Starbucks.

Houston says that having Dropbox is the first day of the rest of people’s lives where all their files follow them for the rest of their lives. He says that while people would be unhappy that their hard drive crashes, they’ll be less traumatized because their files will still be stored in the cloud and can quickly be accessed from anywhere.

Dropbox has quickly grown, according to Houston to be more powerful than a “Star Trek communicator.”

One of the main problems that Dropbox’s founder is encountering is the issue surrounding the syncing of files across all the numerous devices that we have. He cites the example of his mother who has an iTunes account and bought an Android phone. She called him up afterwards and said that her “iTunes was broken.” The key point from Dropbox’s speech is that files are not able to sync with devices across multiple platforms because they’re territorial.


To kick off its Platform, Dropbox has launched with numerous partners, including Shutterstock, Yahoo Mail, PicMonkey, Asana, Animoto, 1Password, CloudOn, FedEx, and Fargo.

Dropbox is facing some stiff competition from the likes of Box and YouSendIt. The timing of the Platform release comes well after Box released its own. With Box, companies can develop mobile apps integrating with the service, add it to enterprise tools like Salesforce, Google Apps, and more, and even use Box in the enterprise as infrastructure. It currently has more than 150 partners leveraging its technology.

Announced in May, DBX is the first conference-type event for the cloud storage service. It’s aim is to help developers “learn about the newest releases and capabilities of the Dropbox Platform” while also creating an opportunity for people to meet with its API teams.

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