Over the past several years, Google has been improving the Chrome ecosystem, opening more APIs to Chrome apps and extensions. As a result, Chrome apps and extensions have grown in number and in functionality and more Chrome users have started integrating them into their workflows and browsing habits. In fact, thanks to several extensions, I consider Chrome an essential tool for getting my work done.
Meanwhile, at Box, we’ve been continually adding new features to our API. At the same time, we’ve endeavored to make it easy for developers to consume that API so that they can connect their users to their information stored on Box. To that end, I’m proud to announce the release of the Box Chrome App SDK that enables Chrome apps and extensions to utilize the full power of the Box API.
The possibilities for such integrations are numerous, but the GitHub repository includes several examples, two of which are described and pictured later in this post.
It’s easy to get started:
npm install box-for-chrome -or- bower install box-for-chrome
The full source is available on GitHub now: https://github.com/box/Chrome-App-SDK
Great, but what is this good for? Great question! There are currently five demo apps in the repository, and here are two of my favorite:
1. Turn Box events into desktop notifications
Need to know whenever a file is uploaded to a certain folder? Right away? Desktop notifications are a great way to stay on top of important events while multitasking, and Chrome extensions can extend that experience to users. The included example is very simple, but I think it informs some potentially useful possibilities.
Demo link: https://github.com/box/Chrome-App-SDK/blob/master/demo/notifications/README.md
2. Search Box from the OmniBar
Each new Chrome tab begins with the focus in the OmniBar. Users type URLs or phrases intended for a search engine. Chrome extensions can extend the bar and allow other kinds of searching. Pairing that capability with the Box API’s search endpoint could save users a fair bit of time and distraction when they need instant access to information on Box.
Demo link: https://github.com/box/Chrome-App-SDK/blob/master/demo/search_extension/README.md
What else can you think of? Seriously – we’d love to see what you can come up with!