SkyDrive updated with new UI, better features, and Android support
Microsoft has been updating SkyDrive, the company’s cloud storage service, at a breakneck pace. The latest update brings with it a fresh new UI inspired by Windows 8, Outlook.com, and the like. SkyDrive for Windows desktop and OS X have been improved as well, and an official Android app is finally on the way. Not coincidentally, the announcement was made on Microsoft’s brand-new Inside SkyDrive blog, which the Redmond software giant created yesterday but was completely empty until this morning.
SkyDrive’s new fast and fluid UI includes a number of very nice improvements, such as instant search, a contextual toolbar, and an improved tile layout very similar to that of the SkyDrive app on Windows 8. The details view is still there, but it sounds like multi-select and drag-and-drop are only supported with the thumbnail view. You’ll also be able to sort files by name, date modified, date created, or size in either ascending or descending order. Or, optionally, you can rearrange them according to your preference. Microsoft claims to have updated nearly 100% of the UI, and everyone will have it as soon as the rollout is complete in less than 24 hours.
SkyDrive for Windows desktop and OS X has been updated too, doubling photo upload speed and quadrupling the rate at which SkyDrive detects and uploads changes to files on your computer. While you still can’t choose exactly which files to sync yet – it works more like Dropbox, copying the entire SkyDrive folder to your computer – Microsoft is currently working on a solution that’s best for everyone.
Up until now, one of SkyDrive’s problems is that it didn’t officially support Android. There are a number of third-party apps, but none are the real deal. Microsoft plans to rectify this within “just a few weeks” with the launch of SkyDrive for Android. Feature-wise, it’s almost identical to its counterparts on Windows Phone and iOS, allowing you to upload and download files, share things, and much more. Microsoft has also removed some of the restrictions placed on developers, so you’ll soon start seeing apps take advantage of the ability to upload any file type to SkyDrive (including full resolution photos) and implement open and save pickers thanks to the updated API.[Inside SkyDrive]