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OneDrive and Office apps for iOS pick up major updates [Updated]

OneDrive iPhone
OneDrive iPhone (Image credit: Windows Central)

Updated January 30, 2018: Added updates to the Office apps for iOS below.

Microsoft is rolling out a major update for OneDrive on iOS, bringing along a refreshed interface and much more. While the app still sports OneDrive's signature blue-and-white color scheme, Microsoft says it has tweaked the text styling and uncluttered the interface to make better use of your screen space.

Additionally, thumbnails are now larger and more detailed to better draw your eyes to whatever it is you're looking for. File previews are also now available for more than 130 file types, including Photoshop, Illustrator, RAW, TIFF, and more. Another big addition is support for drag and drop. Now you can easily drag and drop files between tabs on iPhone and iPad to move them from one place to another.

There's a whole lot more included in this update. Here's a full look at what's new:

  • We now use space more efficiently and have an uncluttered text style that makes it easier to scan across file names and notice essential information quicker.
  • Before you had to tap and hold or open a file to take action on it. We heard feedback that this wasn't always clear, so we added a new context menu next to each item. Tap the "…" to get a clear look at what you can do to that file and the file's extension.
  • Shared files are now easier to spot, and we've made thumbnails larger and more detailed. The human eye is attuned to recognize familiar shapes and colors instantly. To take advantage of this, we modified the look of the files and folders in the list and tile views so it's easier to find what you're looking for.
  • You told us that the multi-column list view on iPad made it difficult to read file names, so we expanded each file to take up the entire row and added columns for the data you care about most. If you are coming from a PC or Mac, you will feel right at home.
  • Uploading a file to a folder and unsure if it's shared or not? You will now notice a shared icon in the navigation bar. Tap that icon to open the details page and see who has access.
  • Our command icons are larger and clearer! No more accidentally tapping the wrong command.
  • You can open any file or folder regardless whether it's in OneDrive or SharePoint.
  • Once you open those files, you can update them and quickly save them back to OneDrive.
  • Tag or favorite your files and folders regardless of where they live.
  • Want to move a file into a folder? Just drag it over. Want to copy a file into a SharePoint Site? Just drag it. Want to add an image stored in OneDrive to your email? You get it…
  • We support dragging and dropping files between tabs in the app on iPhone and iPad. On iPad, we take your productivity to the next level by supporting drag and drop to other apps.
  • More to come here, but let us know what you think so far!
  • Some of the formats we support now include: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, RAW, 3D objects, high-precision DICOM, TIFF files, iWork Files, Java/C/Swift and tons of other code formats, and many more.
  • Microsoft Flow allows you to create automated workflows between OneDrive and other services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data and more. You can turn repetitive tasks into multistep workflows. You can even make decisions in your workflow, like running an action only when specific conditions are met.
  • Landscape support and other various iPhone X UI fixes.
  • We fixed an annoying search bug, when you open a file from your search results and then tap back, you will still see your search results. Search away!
  • PDF annotation support for shared files or files stored in SharePoint – All PDFs are now equal regardless of where they live.
  • You can now easily share locked PDF files.
  • Fixed an issue where PDFs and Office files were rendering behind the navigation bar.
  • When you share files from your personal account, we will show you the type of link you are sharing above the share sheet.

Additionally, Microsoft has announced (opens in new tab) a couple of big features are headed out to the Office apps on iOS. Most notably, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all now support real-time co-authoring, allowing people to collaborate on a document or presentation simultaneously. This comes not long after Microsoft rolled out the same feature to its Office apps for Mac earlier in January.

You can also now drag and drop files between Office apps on iPad. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint now also support new Office-specific VoiceOver rotors that "let people with vision impairments navigate more efficiently in Word across tables and links, slides in PowerPoint, and sheets in Excel."

Of the available updates, the OneDrive overhaul is probably one of the biggest to hit the app, and it brings it more in line with a recent OneDrive for Android update that brought a new look meant to enhance productivity. If you want to check out everything that's new, you can grab the latest updates for OneDrive and Microsoft's Office apps at the App Store. And for more of what's new in Office in January, check out the recent changes to Microsoft Teams.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

4 Comments
  • Who is asking for these new looks and new features? Everytime they update an app, it is nothing but problems. Onedrive was working great for a while. Now all of a sudden instead of uploading my photos, I typically see "Setting things up..." If I am lucky, my photos will upload the next day. And don't even get me started on iOS Excel. I think today's software writers just sit in a room and think up ways to make people's lives worse.
  • We need these developers on the UWP team. iOS and Android get more attention and updates than Microsoft own apps for Windows 10. 
  • OneDrive has worked great, for the most part, on Android, but like James Hauser said of the iOS version, for the past several updates, it takes FOREVER to upload stuff, except photo backups from the phone. Uploading files from the phone, otherwise, often gives me an error saying, "no network connection"...well, as it's a PHONE, I should not have a problem uploading as I'm either always connected via LTE or WiFi.
  • Sounds like time is ripe to invest my 1000 euros in an iphone/ipad rathert than a windows device or android or google device.