Cloud storage is great as it offers the ability to access your files from wherever you are. A smartphone is a device that a lot of people will carry around with them at all times, so it makes sense for cloud storage providers to offer their own apps. Microsoft has done just that with SkyDrive. Android is one of the most popular mobile operating systems (available on phones and tablets), so it makes sense for Microsoft to bring out an app. This article will explore the functionality of it and whether or not it is up to the punch.
To offer a brief overview of SkyDrive, new users can get 7 GB of storage for free and store their data in the cloud on Microsoft’s servers. You can also share your files with others to let people edit them, which is handy for those working on team projects.
The first screen you are greeted with when launching the app is a screen that looks very suited to the current Windows 8 theme. There is a list of all your folders and files, with buttons allowing you to switch between a list and tile view. The former is better if you want to instantly view more details, like file size and last edit date. The latter is best when you just want to flick through all of your photos and see them altogether. You can also upload files, create a folder and refresh the screen. Simply tap on something and you will be given the option to Delete, Download, Export or Share it. Using Export will allow you to attach the file to do things like attach it to your email or upload it to Facebook, all using their own respective apps on the phone.
The great thing about having the app installed is that you can go to any file on your phone or tablet and, using Android’s Share function, sync it right to your SkyDrive account. However, there are a few downsides. The first is that you cannot edit your files. Whereas something like Google Drive for Android offers basic editing functionalities on documents and spreadsheets, SkyDrive does not. Of course, you can always download the file, use a third party editor and then reupload it, but this is a cumbersome approach and takes away the ease of using the cloud. The ability to sync files simply is one of the primary reasons that people use the cloud, so Microsoft’s inability to offer this is quite a glaring omission. Also, the app lacks the ability to move files between folders, so those looking to organise on the move won’t find satisfaction here.
Overall, SkyDrive for Android is a pretty decent app. If you use the service then it makes sense to download this for your device. It would be good to see more functionality implemented to stay on top of competitors; this could always be done in a future update. At the moment something like Dropbox may pip SkyDrive to the post, but it is still relatively early days.
SkyDrive for Android
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