Quick App Review: SkyDrive for Android

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When Microsoft promised to finally deliver SkyDrive for Android within “a few weeks,” it wasn’t kidding. The Redmond software giant released the official app for its cloud storage service exactly two weeks after it revamped the site’s interface and announced the app’s existence. With this release, SkyDrive is now available on all the major operating systems, including Windows 8, Windows Phone, OS X, iOS, and Android. Read on for our quick review of the Android app.

The 3MB SkyDrive app is designed for Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich,” but it works great on Android 2.3 and above. As a result, it’s compatible with the Kindle Fire even though the app is not available on the Amazon Appstore for Android. The app’s interface is very similar to the website and other SkyDrive apps, allowing you to toggle between tile and list views. The list view is actually laid out into one or two columns, depending on the device orientation. At the top of the screen, you’ll find a drop-down menu for switching between your personal SkyDrive, recent files, and files that have been shared with you. The header (or the footer, depending on your device) also has options for switching views, uploading files, creating a new folder, and refreshing the content.

SkyDrive for Android - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Selecting a check box in list view or tapping-and-holding on a file changes the header (or footer) from blue to white, surfacing new options for done (which clears the current selection), delete, share, download, and export. Tapping the screen while viewing a picture also surfaces these options. It’s important to note that multi-select only works for uploading or deleting files. Everything else requires you to select one file or folder at a time. You might be wondering what the difference is between share and export. Share sends a link to the file (allowing the recipient to either view or view and edit the file), while export sends/attaches/uploads the actual file. This is a nice distinction that most of the other SkyDrive apps don’t have.

Of course, the app isn’t perfect. The search button doesn’t appear to work on the Kindle Fire, and there’s no way to move files from inside the app. It’s also impossible to pull up the settings (which allows you to see your available storage or sign out of the app) while you’re multi-selecting files. Furthermore, the app doesn’t include the Microsoft Office suite, so your mileage may vary when editing documents. Thankfully, these are fairly small complaints. Overall, SkyDrive for Android is an excellent app, allowing SkyDrive users to finally access their content from just about every major smartphone or tablet.

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Download: Google Play

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William Devereux

William Devereux is the former Microsoft editor at Pocketables, as well as a Microsoft MVP and SkyDrive/ Insider. As his title implies, he wrote about all things from Redmond, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone. He is currently carrying a Windows Phone 8X by HTC and a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet.

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