Published on September 20th, 2012 | by Nick0
Windows 8 SkyDrive: What You Must Know and Learn
Cloud applications have been steadily growing in popularity as of late. The most basic of which is the cloud drive, letting a user virtually store all of their files to be accessed from the internet on any device. Microsoft’s version of the cloud drive is the SkyDrive, and it has been in service for quite a long time even before mobile devices gained its huge popularity today.
But now that Windows is also moving into the mobile platform, SkyDrive is now also undertaking a major update, and this is something that we’ll need to see for ourselves. We’ll tell you what’s in store for you in SkyDrive for its Windows 8 update, and we’ll also take up a very short note on why this might be important on upcoming Windows 8 smartphones.
Features in Comparison With the Modern UI Environment
The first thing that you would notice in SkyDrive is of course the changed interface when you access it from the Modern interface. As soon as you open the app, the folders that you have in your account would appear as separate tiles. Generic blue tiles represent ordinary folders, while files with photos and images would be shown with one of the pictures inside the folder.
The files and documents in the SkyDrive are arranged in thumbnails by default. This is easily changeable to detail view with a simple touch of a button at the bottom blue toolbar when browsing the files. As always, if there is a file that is compatible with an office app, its thumbnail would automatically represent that program that it is associated with. Of course, because this is a cloud storage application, when accessing the files it would use the Web version of the Office tool. So far the only option that you have when you right-click a document is “delete”. The toolbar below though gives you other options like Clear, Save Local and Manage.
The pictures folder is intuitively arranged as image thumbnails. Clicking on one item automatically enlarges the file in full view. Conveniently, at full screen mode, you can open up a Share menu, giving you the option to automatically share the image directly to any major social networking sites with the simple one-click selection.
Just like the full OS version of the SkyDrive, the Modern UI SkyDrive can also integrate well with some of the other apps that are related to file management or your Windows Live account. One example is that you can use SkyDrive throw in image files directly from your Photos app to your Mail app, and send them as e-mail attachments.
The total simplicity of the design makes it quick and efficient for anyone to manage their files in Windows 8 Modern UI SkyDrive. The controls, buttons and options are as simple as possible for easy and quick access. All in all, it’s has a nice touch that would make it pretty much intuitive for anyone who has used mobile versions of other popular cloud storage applications.
Limitations of the Windows 8 Update for SkyDrive
Of course, even with the refreshing interface and convenience options, there are still some things that the SkyDrive can’t do. One notable feature that it lacks in particular is a synchronization option. The files that are saved on your machine can’t be live-accessed with it. If you want to do that, you’d still have to install the updates that are present in the current SkyDrive client. It loses a few points to its functionality this way, but nevertheless this is something that would not totally undermine SkyDrive’s overall use.
Another minor drawback that I would like to mention about the Windows 8 update for SkyDrive is that it could still only run on machines with x86 processors. We know that Windows RT is slated to be used for ARM processors, so that leaves us with a hanging compatibility issue. Hopefully Microsoft would be able to sort this problem out as Windows 8 gets officially released.
SkyDrive on Windows Phone 8?
The convenience of having your files virtually accessible on all of your devices through the cloud is amazing. Media files in particular, are one of the most convenient files to save on a cloud storage application, though probably not as important as office files. And since we could use a Windows 8 Phones unit as a pocket PC, the experience would be just like using the SkyDrive on a full computer, at least in the way that it can be used to import a file for documentation.
So, I would imagine the experience of playing your uploaded videos on SkyDrive to be also quite good on a Windows 8 Phone, if not the same (with an iPhone or Android smartphone). It would probably be even better than its other versions on Android and iOS, simply because of it can integrate better with a 100% compatible OS. But that’s just speculation anyway.