Microsoft releases Sky Drive app for iPhone and Windows Phone

14 Dec 2011

Microsoft’s cloud storage offering for consumers – SkyDrive – is being made available today for users of Windows Phone and iPhone devices.

The new app for both device families has been built in the same tradition of engineering that exists behind Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive and Windows Live.

The new apps will create meaningful competition for rival mobile device cloud apps like Dropbox.

The SkyDrive cloud app on Windows Phone devices will enable users to view and manage all their folders, documents, photos and all files. Users will also be able to share pictures by sending a link to others that will empower them to either ‘view only’ or ‘view and edit’.

For iPhone users, the tradition of providing built-in support for Hotmail and with apps like Bing, Messenger, OneNote (with SkyDrive sync), and now Skype will continue and represents the software giant’s investment in HTML5 on web and mobile.

The new SkyDrive app for iPhone will be available in 32 languages worldwide. In addition to their OneNote notebooks, iPhone customers can now access all of their files in SkyDrive, create folders, delete files, and share links to folders and files directly using the Mail app.

Your personal cloud

“SkyDrive is your personal cloud for your documents, notes, photos and videos. Move your files into SkyDrive and immediately they’re available from any web browser anywhere in the world,” Mike Torres, group programme manager, SkyDrive Devices and Roaming, explained.

“As we detailed a few days ago, there have been a number of recent updates to to improve how you share with others, manage your files and folders, and browse through your stuff blazingly fast, utilising the latest web technologies (like HTML5 and CSS3).”

However, people are beginning to rely heavily on their smartphones for managing and accessing information and Microsoft now views device access as “table stakes” for personal cloud storage.

“People are choosing where to put their files based on how portable and accessible they are across the various devices they use; therefore, it’s critical that we continue to extend the SkyDrive experience to the devices you use every day,” Torres said.

He revealed that with the recent release of Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango), Microsoft focused on deeply integrating SkyDrive into the Pictures and Office Hubs.

“For instance, you can share photos stored on SkyDrive by email, text, or IM, use Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint with SkyDrive files, and even keep your phone’s camera roll up to date on SkyDrive automatically. This integration isn’t surface-level – SkyDrive is integrated into the apps you use, along with core phone functions. This is a great example of using SkyDrive as an app cloud for Office and Pictures, where the cloud is an underlying feature of the app itself.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years