skydrive

 

Windows Phone 8 OneNote has now been released from the Office hub and is now its own app. With that comes some neat advantages such a quicker, more direct access to your notebooks, bypassing the need to go into Office first to find your notes.

OneNote for Windows Phone 8 is now uses a live tile to show you which note was updated last, at a glance information to help you get things done quicker.

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As Windows Phone users, we are blessed with a handsome, dare we say it, world class cloud storage service slotted right in, SkyDrive.

SkyDrive is baked into Windows Phone, allowing all sorts of wonderful uses, uploading the camera roll automatically, storing your OneNote files or just storing good old Office documents. The team at SkyDrive have been opeing up the service and encouraging developers to take advantage of the space with new applications and services. IFTTT is just such an application and it might well be exactly what you’re looking for.

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Oh, we certainly do love it, Microsoft.

Microsoft has announced today on its SkyDrive blog that the Office Web Apps Preview is finished, and the company has rolled out the latest updates across all SkyDrive and Outlook.com users. The preview programme, which saw more than 750,000 participants, has been running since July this year.

The updates that have been applied to the web apps include improvements that bring richer editing / format capabilities, co-authoring functionality for PowerPoint, and better support for touch-based devices - hello tablets / smartphones. So what do each of the improvements implemented mean for the consumer?

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Reports are coming in that Nokia has released an update for its Reading app, which was made available for Lumia Windows Phone owners earlier this year. The app is unfortunately not available in the US, but for those who are able to download and make use of the service it's a worthy reading companion.

Should you not be able to access the likes of Amazon's Kindle service, Nokia Reading offers a variety of books available to purchase and / or download. With the latest update, which we've not yet been able to apply ourselves, users will be able to import DRM-free books (EPUB and PDF formats supported) from SkyDrive.

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SkyDrive and punk rawk go well together, says our editor

Microsoft has reportedly added support for album art in its SkyDrive cloud storage service, which could be the first step in the direction of a Windows integrated Xbox Music solution. Xbox Music is set to replace the current Zune Pass that many have grown fond of with unlimited access to a large library of music. Should one happen to upload music files to their SkyDrive account, album art is reported to be automatically added once detected. 

Like Liveside.net who first reported this, we're not entirely sure if this is new or we're just noticing it for the first time. Either way, consider it as more evidence that indeed SkyDrive is quite awsome.

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The familiar Recycle Bin, coming to SkyDrive soon?

With the new SkyDrive having been rolled out last week with the new modern UI, it looks like Microsoft still has some plans for the service for adding new features.

One of those features being planned is evidently a Recycle Bin, which has been found via the coding within the site itself and was earlier tipped to LiveSide.net back in the spring.

No details have been given as to the exact functionality of such a feature but it’s easy to assume that it will allow you un-delete items for a period of 30 days or so as a sort of safety-net for your content. Any delay in rolling out this feature most likely has to do with getting the service up and running via their mobile apps, since they will also need to be updated for this tool.

No word on exact release dates but at the rate which Microsoft is moving these days, it probably won’t be too long.

Source: LiveSide.net

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The new SkyDrive login screen

Two weeks ago Hotmail became Outlook.com with a new Metro…errr..modern look to it and now it is finally time for SkyDrive to get the same makeover.

Heading to www.skydrive.com you can see the new site redesign (log out and refresh if you are not seeing it) that brings it up to par with the Windows 8, Windows Phone and Outlook’s new appearance. And yes, Microsoft is not calling it Metro but rather are using ‘modern’ instead—take that as you will.

Besides the new look, SkyDrive also gets some new features on board including instant search, contextual toolbar, thumbnail multi-select, drag-and-drop organization, and HTML5 sorting which should make the service is more fun to use.

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Uploading photos from your Windows Phone to SkyDrive can be a pain, especially since full resolution photos are resized when sent to the cloud. This is presumably due to Microsoft taking measures to optimise transfer for those on tight data plans who may not be connected to a WiFi network. While perfectly understandable, it would make sense to have this option in the Windows Phone settings for the user to configure how they'd like their photos uploaded to their SkyDrive account.

For now there's a workaround of sorts. Unfortunately a Windows PC is required with Zune installed, sporting an active Internet connection, and of course the native SkyDrive client for Windows. Luckily, Microsoft has developed sturdy software enabling Windows users to access and synchronise their SkyDrive storage locally with a smart folder set on their machine. This is what we'll be using through Zune to automatically upload photos from the Windows Phone to the cloud.

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Microsoft has today unveiled the Outlook.com preview to the public, which is essentially a Hotmail upgrade. The successor is completely metrofied, and is feature rich taking elements and functionality from both Hotmail and Exchange. Outlook.com is integrated into Windows and Office, while being able to connect to social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and LinkedIn for contact synchronisation.

Microsoft is offering 7GB of free storage through SkyDrive for those signing up to the new email service, and is attempting to turn users away from email attachements to cloud storage. Outlook.com will become a supported option when setting up email on Windows 8, Windows Phone (as well as other smartphones that support Exchange ActiveSync). From the video below, we can see Skype integration being present for video calls to be made without launching the app. Exciting stuff.

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The metrification of Microsoft’s web properties continues. Yesterday we reported that the Accounts page update was rolling out. This time Liveside are reporting a leak of the new, flatter SkyDrive. Word is, that we will see these changes appear around August time. Amongst the changes deduced from the screenshots looks like we can expect to see:-

  • Thumbnails of Office document types
  • Ability to select files from the thumbnail view
  • Improved access to storage management, tagging and changing language type
  • Groups accessible from the left hand column
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Backing up app data on SkyDrive--not cool with Microsoft?

An interesting controversy spring up over at the AppHub forums over the use of SkyDrive for backing up app data—not so much photos and documents (which is fine) but rather unintelligible files created by apps for app-specific data.

The crux of it was someone from the SkyDrive team made a comment that using SkyDrive for such a purpose goes against the user agreement for the API and it could result in the Windows Phone app being yanked from the Marketplace.

Justin Angel, Principal Engineer for Windows Phone experience at Nokia, fervently objected to this idea noting

“As SkyDrive API usage is not part of the Application Certification Guidelines I resent that team threatening app developers with expulsion from the marketplace for misuse of their API.”

It’s certainly a good point although we see the reasoning behind the SkyDrive team’s position. Luckily things are not as dire as expected.

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Microsoft is rolling out another update to its SkyDrive Windows Phone client today. Not a huge amount has changed in the latest version but it does bring some welcome graphical changes.

The logo has been updated to now fall in line with that seen on the web and on the desktop version  of the client, gone is the swish and onwards with the ‘flattening’. It is also adhering more to the Metro feel, dropping the rather dull skeuomorphic yellow folder icons and replacing them with their authentically digital counterparts. Yes, that means blue squares to you and me.

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Microsoft today blogged about their strategy for Skydrive and how its going to fit in with Office 2013. Skydrive is already the backbone for many MS services, everything from Xbox Cloud-saved games to providing a space to upload photos when sending from Hotmail. In this little preview, we get a look at how Office may look on WP8, complete with new style Windows logo.

This year will see Office 2013 released, as long as you're signed into your PC with your Live ID it will automatically save your documents to Skydrive as the default option. The post then goes on talk about the new feature of Office 2013 where it will remember the exact paragraph you were last reading so that when you pick up your next device you’ll be right where you left off.

Whilst a mockup - its showing off that new Windows Logo

The post goes on to state that those features will extend to the mobile device also. Synchronised reading position for a document being worked on certainly sounds very useful. What more can we speculate will be rolled into Windows Phone 8? If WP8 is going to be much more business friendly than Windows Phone 7 then I am expecting a good deal of features baked in.

We know that Skype is going to be first class citizen with Office 2013 but I would expect to see Lync thrown in here for good measure. If they are talking about synced reading views then I would expect the same form of touch based reading experience that is offered in Office 2013. Currently Windows Phone already has some nice touches in the Office Hub, recent documents  already exists but Office 2013 takes that slightly further by showing documents from all applications the the various storage locations you have been using.

What else might we expect? Well Word 2013 can now edit PDF documents. Perhaps WP8 will be able to dispense with a PDF viewer completely in favour of Word in reading mode. Presence is a huge thing in the corporate world so seeing who’s online for live document collaboration or chat using Lync or Skype? I don’t see why the already excellent Windows Phone version of Office can’t go on to be a real star in the Windows 8 story.

I’d love to know what you would like to see in Office 2013 on Windows Phone 8.

Source: Microsoft

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Microsoft in a surprising move has updated the Windows 8 Marketplace so that there is now another SkyDrive app available. This is not the WinRT version but instead a shortcut to the full-blown desktop app that is currently available to all. SkyDrive is going to be a linchpin of Microsoft’s cloud based continuous client strategy. So what are they up to?

Windows 8 already has the WinRT version of SkyDrive, but currently that does not support folder synchronisation. I have to say I find this rather odd. I would have expected MS to simply update the existing built-in app to support such a function.

I do think there are number of reasons they have chosen this route. Firstly, it could be that a pure WinRT version will make it impossible to execute that level of interaction with the classic desktop environment. It could also be there to help aid install until a fully featured SkyDrive app baked in  with the WinRT environment and the Classic environment.

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Dropbox reads your files...kinda

Well, here's an interesting little tidbit for those that use Dropbox to store or share files.

We have all seen documents getting leaked out of large organisations to the public, and invariably said company usually get's the documents removed for legal reasons from wherever they are being hosted. In fact, after the supposed presentation about the XBOX 720 leaking, we saw it being removed from Scridb.com at the request of Covington & Burling LLP which is a firm known to have dealings with Microsoft.

None of that is surprising, but today Windows Phone Centrals Daniel Rubino sent me a certain document via Dropbox so that I could take a look at it. However, trying to download the file just returns the image you can see above. This was not a link shared publically, but yet, it was removed seemingly automatically.

That begs the question, do storage companies analyze your files' content as you upload them? They no doubt have a clause in their terms that allows them to do just that, but it is another thing actually seeing it used.

Moral of the story? Don't use commercial cloud storage to share secret files.

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The Windows Phone app SkyManager from JDB Pocketware is a nice alternative to access your SkyDrive account. It was temporarily pulled from the Marketplace a short time ago due to logo issues but is back and was recently updated to version 1.2.  The v1.2 update comes just a few days after seeing the version 1.1 update being pushed out that added a good bit of functionality to SkyManager.

SkyManager lays your SkyDrive contents out in either tile fashion or a list view. SkyManager allows you to create and edit folders, upload/download content, and browse your shared folders. Your image uploads can be custom set to reduce resolution (width) or max it out at 2048 pixels. Additional features for SkyManager includes:

  • Support for ZIP files, Support for video files
  • Sharing folders via email, SMS or posting on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Live or LinkedIn)
  • Multi-user/Multi-account support.

We've tinkered with SkyManager for some time now and find it to be a simple, yet feature rich alternative to the Microsoft SkyDrive app. There are two versions available for SkyManager over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

There is a free version that is ad supported and has some limited functionality (can't pin folders to Start Screen, no photo editing tools, no multiple account support, and no shortened URLs). The full version of SkyManager is ad free and will cost you $2.99.

You can find SkyManager free here and SkyManager full here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

               

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In our latest how-to guide, we show you how to make the most of your Windows Phone and SkyDrive cloud storage

We've touched on the basics with Microsoft's SkyDrive services and the SkyDrive App for your Windows Phone. But how does all that translate into every day use?

The obvious every day use for SkyDrive and your Windows Phone is to free up storage space and make content easily available. Why bog down your Windows Phone with documents, pictures, and music files when you can store them in the Cloud and access them at your leisure? But did you know that several quality apps utilize SkyDrive? Of course you did... and we'll try to cover a few along the way as we look at every day uses for your SkyDrive account.

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