04
May
unnamed (1)

After the long-awaited launch of Google Drive, it was only a matter of time before users began seeing integration with Android apps. While there's no official Android API for Google Drive just yet, many devs suspected that Drive's Java API would work just fine, despite a confusing statement on Google's developer site:

Warning: Apps will not have any API access to files unless the app has been installed in Chrome Web Store. To test an app during development, you must first create a listing and install it.

Putting that idea to the test, popular (and extremely versatile) backup solution Titanium Backup has made use of the cloud service's Java API to bring Drive backup options to users in a recently released update.

Update #1: It looks like TB developers may have opted in to use the older Docs API to set this up (thanks, Andrew).

wm_SC20120504-230751 wm_SC20120504-230808 wm_SC20120504-230820 wm_SC20120504-230849

While it's great to see added Drive support, the ability to schedule Drive backups (or Box for that matter) seems to be missing, despite the app's promise to schedule Dropbox, Box, and Drive syncs. Update #2: Turns out the sync trigger for cloud backups needs to be set in existing scheduled jobs - just pick the appropriate cloud backup option in the list of things to do after a backup is complete. (Thanks, Aly!)

If you haven't already, hit the widget below to grab the update. It's worth noting, though, that only the PRO version of Titanium Backup supports Drive backup.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Nklenchik

    Well this should save me some space on my phone for sure :D

  • Andrew

    The Google's statement about the Google Drive API is 100% right. It is only intended for web apps and absolutely useless for Android apps. Specifically, you cannot get a list of user files via this API - hence you cannot deal with them (and cannot upload too).

    Though you can access Google Drive files using the old-plain Google Documents List API. And many applications do this for ages. They just call it the old way: Google Documents instead of Google Drive.

    Talking about the Google Documents List API. It is still very awkward, still usable. If you need more info about its issues and its comparison with other clouds (Dropbox & Box) read here:
    http://www.safe-in-cloud.com/2012/05/dropbox-vs-box-vs-google-drive.html

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You're right about the Drive API missing list (is that for security or just a ridiculous omission?), but judging by how TB retries on failure even after being done half way, it could be using the Drive API...

      For instance, you can see in the first screenshot that TB was about a third done backing up my data, all 1263 files. What you don't see is how it failed shortly after, and when I restarted it, it started from scratch, losing all progress. Now, when the same happened to Box, it kept progress and resumed, which implies that TB tries to resume for cloud services in general, unless it can't list, in which case it just restarts.

      Though, my mind just flashed back to the way Drive credentials were set up and retried it. You're right - it says "View and manager your documents in Google Docs as well as Upload new documents" so it's likely using the Docs API after all.

      Doh.

      Why does Google, who prides itself with being so engineering focused, have the shittiest APIs of all the services? They had yeaaaars to bake them. Come on...

      • Andrew

        Artem, don't get me wrong. The Google Document's List API (as a protocol) is very good. And it supports resumable uploads. Actually, they even do not allow non-resumable uploads. All my complains are about the documentation and the SDK (a client implementation of the API). So, I believe that a reason of the upload problems you mentioned above is inside Titanium Backup, not in the Google API.

  • Aly

    You can schedule sync of backups to Drive, Box and Dropbox by setting the "When Finished" option on a backup (feature has been around for a while). So I set my device to backup every night and then when the backup has finished it syncs the backup to my Box account. All happening while I am asleep!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      What a backwards way of doing it, without any obvious instructions I could see. Thanks for pointing this out, now it makes sense.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Unfortunately, neither Box nor Google Drive options have never completed successfully before - they always error out somewhere down the road without giving a reason (about 2GB jobs).

  • http://twitter.com/zackeryfretty Zackery Fretty

    Personally, I find that Titanium Backup's most perfected feature is anything with "Failed" at the end of it. Especially syncing. 

    • usnmustanger

       That feature must be missing from my copy of TB.  I've never had it fail.

      • Justin

        I'm going to second that. Mine is successful in anything I attempt - backups, syncs, batch installs, etc. All works perfectly :)

  • Steve Rix

    I've had ZERO success with uploading to Google Drive with TB. When the transfer progress reaches between 1MB-7MB TB will report that the sync has failed. I've been trying on and off for 5 days now (over Wi-Fi I add!) and I haven't managed to send a single back up job to Google Drive! I'm not very impressed to be honest. Could this be an API problem?

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