Google Drive adds app data folders, custom properties to help developers

In order to help developers use Google Drive as a safe place to store data while working on apps, Google has introduced some new additions to the Drive SDK. These new changes, including the ability to create hidden folders, are bound to make app developers who use Google Drive crack a smile.

App data folders, the first new addition to Google Drive, will help developers run apps smoother. Nicolas Garnier of Google explained in the Google Apps Developer blog that it is creating this special folder that will be accessible only to developers in order to help them avoid accidental deletion of files and folders by users.

It has happened often that developers have found themselves in a tight situation after users have erroneously deleted important files and folders. With the new hidden folder, developers will be able to lock out users from viewing the content of the folders, although they will be able to see how much data the apps are using via the Manage Apps dialog.

You will be able to see folder sizes if not the content

You will be able to see folder sizes if not the content


Garnier writes that the app data folder makes it ideal for storing configuration files, app state data or any other files that the user should not modify.

The second addition made to Google Drive is custom properties. This will help developers create searchable fields that are either private to your app or shared across apps. For example, Garnier explains, you can use custom properties to track the status of your document going through a review process or a classroom app can be made to keep a track on the grade for a document. Developers can make all of these available in apps on various devices owned by the user.


This is a small but great step by Google in order to make Drive more than just a cloud-storage service. What is important about these new features is that these are not restricted to one platform (think: iCloud) but will encompass Android and iOS both. Sadly, Google is not promising anything on database syncing using Google Drive. At least not yet.

Google is leaving no stone unturned in improving the Google Drive experience for both users and developers. Testament to this fact is the efficiency with which Google Drive apps are refreshed every two months. Every alternate month, we seem to be seeing an update for the cloud storage service for Android and iOS devices.

In February, we saw Google Drive for Android get a refresh that allowed devices running Android version 3.0 and up stream videos. So if you have a phone running Honeycomb and up, you will be able to watch clips and videos shared with you by your family and friends on Google Drive.

The web app too got the much-needed ability to preview more than 30 types of files and quickly flip between them until you find the one you need. Of course, you can share, download, print or open the file with just a click. But here’s the best bit about the update – you can now select and copy text straight from the preview, even for PDFs.

We’re impressed, Google! Keep the Drive updates coming.

Published Date: Apr 05, 2013 03:14 pm | Updated Date: Apr 05, 2013 03:14 pm