The new SkyDrive login screen
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.
The instant searches will all you to browse through all of your files and even within Office documents for specific keywords that you enter. The contextual toolbar helps clean up the UI by moving common commands to the toolbar near the top and it will change dynamically depending where you are within SkyDrive.
With multi-select in thumbnail view, users can now choose numerous photos or documents for moving, deletion or sharing—that’s a huge feature that many of us have been wanting for some time (seeing as the service now supports that feature, we wouldn’t doubt that an app update for Windows Phone is in the works too).
SkyDrive's new 'modern' look
Finally, users can take advantage of HTML5 by having drag-and-drop functionality for organizing photos and documents, including new “sort by” options and custom folder choices.
Other changes are also significant:
- Official Android app is announced and it will be available “within a few weeks”
- Developers – no more restrictions on file sizes for uploads
- Optimized desktop clients that will improve upload efficiency in terms of speed and require less CPU power
With the removal of size-limits for file uploads, Windows Phone apps presumably can begin uploading full-sized photos to the ‘cloud’ very soon. We’ll keep an eye on that to see if and when it happens.
SkyDrive mobile - On iOS, Windows Phone and soon Android
The changes to SkyDrive will be rolling out over the next week and for many of you, you’ll see the new site within 24-hours. Currently we have the new login but it takes us to the old site, so we’re still waiting too.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.