By Stephen Schenck | January 16, 2014 4:22 PM
Last week Google revealed a number of changes coming to Android, with the introduction of Google Play Services 4.1. We told you about some of the cool stuff, like support for turn-based multiplayer in Play Games titles, and touched on a new version of the Google Drive API that was on the way. Well, today Google makes that developer preview of the new Drive API available, while sharing a little about just what it’s capable of doing.
The idea behind all of this is to encourage to build Drive-based solutions right into their apps by making such implementations as effortless as possible; apps accessing Drive itself is nothing new, but with these changes Google hopes to see Drive find new support.
As for the API features themselves, they include things like automatic local caching of data for when cloud connectivity isn’t available, an easy-to-implement browser for letting users select files from Drive, and cross-device syncing, for users juggling multiple Androids.
Since Google Play Services are divorced from larger Android platform updates, this new API will be available on systems going all the way back to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Look for apps beginning to take advantage of these new features in the weeks and months to come.