A small but powerful feature has snuck into the latest Chrome Dev Channel update (v43.0.2357.3) which allows third party cloud service providers (like DropBox, OneDrive and others) to better integrate with ChromeOS. The Files app now sports a new ‘Add new services’ menu option, which opens a window like that shown above, allowing users to select from File System Providers now listed on the Chrome Web Store.
The providers currently include DropBox, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and a generic SFTP file system driver which allows you to mount any remote file system over SFTP (something like what Fuse does for other Linux systems). This is great news for users of those platforms who have been thinking about a switch to ChromeOS, but have hesitated due to a lack of native support for their cloud platform of choice.
With the File System Providers API now live on Chrome, developers have the green light to develop solutions for other cloud platforms as well. Google’s not resting easy, with reports they’re already working on improvements such as allowing users to pin (or save) files offline, a better metaphor for unmounting and remounting cloud providers (rather than the eject button) and improvements to the way files are displayed progressively as they cache.