Google Drive is a great little web app, but since there has never been an API for the service, third-party developers have never gotten the chance to integrate it into their own apps. However, Google has finally released what they call the “Realtime API” for Google Drive, allowing realtime editing of Google Drive docs inside of third-party apps.
With the API in place, developers will be able to integrate Google Drive into their apps that way users can edit Google Drive text, spreadsheet, and presentation documents, and have the changes show up in realtime for collaborators. This new API also “handles network communication, storage, presence, conflict resolution, and other collaborative details.”
A few apps are already using the new API, including Neutron Drive, Gantter, and draw.io. As an example, Gantter (which is a free online project scheduling tool) allows users to now work on project schedules in realtime, and the app features an embedded chat program that uses the Google Drive Realtime API.
Of course, we’ll have to wait a little bit for more app developers to integrate the new API into their apps, but it should only be a matter of time. Developers can go to the Realtime API landing page to learn more about the API and to get started integrating the new API into apps. We’re pretty excited to see what developers come up with.