One nifty feature of HTML5 is that web apps can store data locally on your computer and have it available even when you are offline. Google today introduced a new API for Chrome, the SyncFileSystem API, that offers an app-private sandboxed file storage system, similar to what’s already in the HTML5 specs. The interesting new feature here is that this data is also automatically synchronized across clients via a cloud back-up service linked to Google Drive.
The API is currently only available in the highly experimental Canary version of Chrome, but it will likely find its way into the release channel over the next few months.
As Google notes, this shouldn’t be confused with an API that allows developers to access arbitrary documents in the cloud. It is just meant for storing and syncing offline data across multiple machines.
In its documentation, Google notes that the standard use case for this API is to “store user-generated data (or any other binary data) locally for offline or caching usage when the app also wants to save/synchronize the data on a cloud storage so that the same data can be available across different clients.”
Currently, the API only supports Google Drive as a backend storage service, but in the future, it sounds like the team may give developers the option to target other services as well.