Microsoft has updated its SkyDrive app for iOS. The updated app adds the option to automatically back up photos and videos to SkyDrive and has improved integration with the Office Mobile and OneNote apps.
The new SkyDrive app has been redesigned to fit in with iOS 7 and includes performance improvements and bug fixes. Download the update from the iTunes app store here.
Microsoft has also updated the SkyDrive web client. Users can now see a preview of what their photos will look like before they share on Facebook, and they can choose to upload to existing albums and set permissions before uploading.
Microsoft is currently in the process of changing the name of SkyDrive, in accordance to their settlement with BSkyB over the “Sky” trademark. There are reports they have internally renamed SkyDrive to NewDrive, similar to how they renamed Hotmail to NewMail, before deciding on the final name.
Microsoft has announced it has added “smart files” to SkyDrive in Windows 8.1, which allows users to search and preview all their SkyDrive files without storing the full files. By doing this, most users can use around 80% less disk space.
A smart file contains all the metadata of the full file and, if it is an image, a thumbnail generated on one of Microsoft’s servers. If an image containing text is uploaded to SkyDrive through a device’s camera roll, the text will be automatically read using Bing OCR and added to the file’s metadata.
These files and thumbnails can be browsed while offline, though opening them for editing requires the full file to be downloaded. There are options to choose which files and folders are fully available offline. Learn more on the Inside SkyDrive blog here.
Microsoft has announced it is rolling out a new optical character recognition (OCR) feature in SkyDrive. When a user takes a photo with a Windows Phone 8 device configured to automatically upload photos to SkyDrive, a Bing-powered OCR tool will scan the image for text and display it in a new Extracted Text panel on the right.
The feature is currently available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and German. Learn more on the Inside SkyDrive blog here.
Microsoft has updated SkyDrive with a new text editor that supports find and replace with regular expression support, line numbering, syntax highlighting and word completion suggestions. The update also adds support for animated GIFs, photo rotation and high-resolution displays.
The Sharing view now displays files that are shared with others, multiple files can be shared without sharing an entire folder and Office documents shared by email can be opened without logging in.
Interested in learning more? See the Inside SkyDrive blog here.
Microsoft has explained how SkyDrive integration in Windows 8.1 Preview works. SkyDrive now uses placeholder files with only metadata and a large thumbnail preview for images to save space.
For example, a Pictures folder that is 5.6GB on SkyDrive may only take up 185MB on a tablet. These placeholder files can be browsed, searched and managed just like the full files, but they will not be fully downloaded until they are opened for editing.
Interested in learning more? See the Inside SkyDrive blog here.
Microsoft has added panorama support to SkyDrive. Users of Windows 8.1 Preview can use Panorama button in the Camera app to create a panorama and save it as a .pano file in the camera roll.
If the option to automatically upload to SkyDrive isn’t enabled, the .pano file will need to be manually uploaded to SkyDrive. The panorama can then be viewed on the SkyDrive website.
Microsoft has lost a trademark dispute over SkyDrive in the UK. The England and Wales High Court ruled that SkyDrive can easily be confused with the Sky trademark owned by the British Sky Broadcasting Group for matters of software and digital communications within the European Union.
The company previously had its own cloud storage solution called Sky Store & Share. This ruling means Microsoft will need to form an agreement with British Sky Broadcasting Group to keep the name SkyDrive or use another name in Europe.
Interested in learning more? See the court decision here.
Microsoft has released Windows 8.1 Preview. The update gives users more control over their Start screen and desktop. There are new tile sizes and animated backgrounds for the Start screen. The desktop now has a Start button and right-clicking the button displays a menu with new options to shut down and restart.
There is also a new Navigation tab on the Taskbar properties dialog that has options to disable hot corners at the top, boot to the desktop, display the desktop background as the Start screen background, display the All Apps screen instead of the Start screen, and display desktop apps first. These options can create a full-screen menu similar to the one in Windows 7.
The Search charm has also been improved so that it searches everything instead of only apps, settings or files. It also searches Bing and provides a full-screen experience with information from Wikipedia and apps related to the query.
Windows 8.1 has better support for high-resolution displays and multitasking has been improved so more than two apps can be open at a time. Whenever an app launches another app, the screen splits in half so the user doesn’t lose context.
Also, most of the Control Panel settings have been moved over into PC Settings. Other features include SkyDrive integration, a redesigned Windows Store with recommended apps, Internet Explorer 11 and native 3D printer drivers. There are also new apps including Calculator, Reading List, Scan, Sound Recorder and Movie Moments. The Photo app has also been updated with photo editing and enhancement options.
Using Windows 8 and don’t mind reinstalling desktop applications when upgrading to the final version of Windows 8.1? Download the update here, restart and then install Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store app. Note that PCs with an English language pack must have their primary language set to English (US) for the update to install.
Microsoft is giving US students an additional 3GB of SkyDrive storage for a year. It isn’t clear what happens to the extra storage at the end of the year. Any data over the standard 7GB limit will likely be kept, but become read-only until the space is cleared.
Got access to a US college email address? Enter it on the website here to add 3GB of storage to SkyDrive for a year.
Microsoft has updated SkyDrive, its online cloud storage solution. The update adds an All Photos view that displays a timeline of photos from all folders and sorted from newest to oldest.
The thumbnails view in SkyDrive has a new layout that improves the readability of files and folders. Also, Word and PowerPoint files now display thumbnails of their content instead of just the Word or PowerPoint icon.
Photos can now be uploaded two to three times faster through the SkyDrive desktop application thanks to updates in the application and server infrastructure.
Using the SkyDrive desktop application or other Windows Essentials applications? Download the latest version of Windows Essentials here.