We’d all like to think that with the current offerings and enhancements in mobile services we have unfailing access to the information superhighway.
High-bandwidth, mobile networks (4G LTE) promise the speediest connection for all of your data—email, photo posts, check-ins—anywhere, anytime. The truth is that although we feel completely connected through our mobile devices, this is not always the case.
We all have that one spot in the house that gets no signal, or your favorite shopping center that for some reason is an absolute dead zone. How often have you been cut off from your virtual world while out and about—no email, no Facebook, not enough service to send a text?
At times like this most apps simply stop working. It can be one of the most frustrating hang-ups of technology.
According to Dropbox, your apps no longer have to go kaput when the signal drops. Dropbox offers a free web-based service that provides storage and sharing of files (documents, video, images and more) from anywhere and between multiple devices. And now, the file-sharing dynamo has created a solution for your data that will let you connect to your apps, whether or not you have a mobile network or Wi-Fi connection—The Datastore API.
Announced at Dropbox’s inaugural developer conference, DBX, Datastore API, is an extension of what Dropbox has done for file-sharing online, but for in-app data in our occasionally disconnected universe. Data can be added to Dropbox through any app with the Datastore API and can be synced back to any device, giving you information that is not only saved but also sharable to many destinations. With the new Datastore API, if you add a to-do list item, beat a game level, or edit a photo on your iPhone, you can pick up right where you left off on a tablet or desktop. Additionally, this will backup your application settings, contacts, bookmarks and other bits of information that can get lost when an app crashes or loses connection.
So what does this mean to the average mobile user?
As more developers integrate this program into their apps, users will have better access to their data, on and offline. No longer will you lose that photo you were trying to load to Facebook when the car suddenly went though a tunnel. Plus, you will be able to access information stored on the “cloud” from any app. The cloud serves as a set of computers, storage devices or networks that are connected to form a larger service, giving you access to your files and data from multiple locations. Cloud services can be made either public or private to access, depending on the service provider. And their structure makes them flexible to expand or size down.
Of course, down the line, this could mean new vulnerabilities for the users who store their information online. Having app data stored elsewhere from your phone could potentially open it up to hackers who might try to gain access to information you are not even aware you’re putting out there. New apps set up to save all data on or offline could be sending something to the cloud that you don’t want out in the Internet universe.
For the time being, we’ll have to see what happens with the possible realization of continuous connectivity, even when the phone shows no bars. One thing is certain, many lost posts and check-ins will now be saved.