Chrome OS file manager could get integration with Dropbox, other cloud drives

Chrome OS cloud storage options

Are you interested in seeing Dropbox, SugarSync, SkyDrive or other cloud storage services integrated in the Chrome OS file manager? As a heavy cloud user, I know I am. It appears someone on the Chromium project is too, because eagle-eyed Craig Tumblison, noticed a Chromium feature enhancement was filed to add this type of integration in Chrome OS.

Here’s the full request description, which is an API to allow for extensions to integrate directly in the Chrome OS file manager:

The basic idea is to allow an extension behave as a ‘drive’ in the file manager app in ChromeOS. Currently the file manager has “Downloads” and “Drive” in the left column, and additional USB flash drives and temporary zip archives will appear. The extension will appear here and provide the list of files through the new API.

I’m already using Dropbox and Amazon’s Cloud Drive on the Chromebook Pixel, but it’s not an integrated experience. The Dropbox extension for example, is simply a link to the Dropbox website where I can then download, upload or modify files through the browser page. Sending files to Dropbox isn’t done through the Chrome OS file manager, making for a clunky experience.

If the request is approved and developed, however, the native file manager in Chrome OS would look something like this image found on the OMG!Chrome! enthusiast site.

Chrome OS cloud integration

Will Google’s Chromium team open up the Chrome OS file manager to other competing cloud storage services? From a business standpoint, it could shy away from such a request, but if it wants Chrome OS to be a serious competitor to traditional operating systems, I think it has to allow for this. I’ll be keeping an eye on the request going forward in hopes of an approval.

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