Microsoft Updates SkyDrive | Builds Robust API & Android App Coming Soon

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Microsoft in December 2011 released SkyDrive apps for Windows and iPhone.  The two mobile apps have been used by almost 4 million people according to Microsoft.  Four million is pretty impressive for two apps in just 8 months, however Microsoft is aiming higher; with expectations of SkyDrive serving a billion people or even more.

SkyDrive on Android

Microsoft announced last week its plans to launch an Android app for SkyDrive after updating and improving SkyDrive for web, desktop and mobile. The SkyDrive API was also enhanced.  The Android app will be out in weeks and users can use it to browse SkyDrive, upload files and share SkyDrive files with “Send a link.” It will also open SkyDrive files, upload, save and share to SkyDrive from other apps just as the Windows Phone and iOS.

SkyDrive Updates

Chris Jones VP said in a post that Microsoft redesigned SkyDrive for web, updated its Windows and iPhone apps  and refined its apps for PCs and Macs.

SkyDrive API for developers was also enhanced with better capabilities for developers as the firm takes its shot at having a billion people on SkyDrive, the numbers are expected to go up with the forthcoming launch of Windows 8.

Microsoft sees SkyDrive as a versatile personal cloud storage expects the updates to help SkyDrive extend its possibilities for users to capture, organize, access and share their data across a proliferation of devices and apps.

According to Omar Shahine Group Program Manager at SkyDrive.com, “The new SkyDrive.com comes with a modern design for both desktop and tablet browsers. It has instant search, a contextual toolbar, thumbnail multi-select, drag-and-drop organization, and HTML5 sorting. The redesigned version works for both Windows desktop & OS X with faster uploads. The firm also has a new Android app for users of Android phones to access, upload and share their documents.”

Excellent Web Experiences

SkyDrive also promises excellent web experiences with its recent updates.

“We’ve taken the same DNA from the SkyDrive Windows 8 app and brought that to the web. We’ve updated nearly 100% of the SkyDrive UI to provide a fast and fluid web experience on all browsers and devices,” said Shahine.

The SkyDrive home page has a default tile-based layout for users’ folders and files and with a details view button for Recent and Shared docs.

SkyDrive also now comes with quick search for files in the drive and for documents in Ms Office applications with a command tool bar at the top of the page for creating documents and folders and sharing them. The update also allows one to rearrange their documents as they like or drag and drop them.

Sort by Newest to Oldest

SkyDrive sorting was also updated. Microsoft says to have received lot of feedback on sorting over the past year. It therefore provided new sorting options.  Sorting is now default to sorting by newest to oldest.  There is also a new feature to save the newly sorted arrangement.

Mike Torres Group Program Manager at SkyDrive Apps says,

“The updated SkyDrive for Windows desktop & OS X  and made it faster and more efficient. The team say bulk photo uploads and sync and sharing have been enhanced 1.7 times faster than before.  The team says to be working on an app to help users selectively sync personal files separate from work. “We’re working on a solution to this problem but can’t give specifics yet.”

Enhanced API

Developers were not left out; according to Microsoft, developers using SkyDrive API can now store or access all types of files from their SkyDrive.  The firm’s earlier version allowed easier integration of SkyDrive into mobile and web apps but following feedback of users, the updated API allows developers to upload just about any type of file and images in their full resolution.  The API has a SkyDrive file picker for opening and saving files to SkyDrive as it allows developers to add a few JavaScript lines to any website.

Sam Wakoba

Sam Wakoba travels around the world's technology hubs and events writing about startups, VC’ s and ventures. Spends nights reviewing trending gadgets, ICT initiatives, and disrupting technology.

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