Google Drive has just released a new API that will allow 3rd party developers to implement realtime Drive features in their apps. The API is called the Google Drive Realtime API, and it handles “network communication, storage, presence, conflict resolution, and other collaborative details” so all you need to do is focus building your own app. It will handle the rest.

By implementing Google Drive’s Realtime API, users will now be able to edit files in their Google Drive accounts, like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, straight from a 3rd party app. The files will automatically update and sync throughout their Google Drive accounts. For those of you who are working on a group project, the API will allow you to see other “collaborators” who are currently working on the project at the same time as you.

The collaboration feature is one of the highlights of the Realtime API. Not only will you be able to see who is currently online and working on your group projects, you will also be able to see the changes they make in real time. There will be colored labels indicating who made updates/changes and where. Some apps, who have already implemented the API into their system, showed that apps are also able to include a chat feature that lets you communicate with your fellow collaborators.

There are currently three 3rd party apps that have implemented the Realtime API. There’s Neutron Drive, an online text and source code editor, Gantter, an online project scheduling tool that features an integrated chat room, and, a diagramming app that lets you create flowcharts, diagrams, and other illustrations. We should be seeing Google Drive’s realtime features implemented in many other apps soon, including Android apps.

[via SlashGear]