Following the recent update brought to its personal email service, which has become Outlook.com, Microsoft also performed a major interface change to SkyDrive.com, bringing it in line with the UI approach in Windows 8.Starting today, SkyDrive.com has a new, modern look, similar with the one available for the dedicated application released for Windows 8, intended to make it easier for users to create, find and manage their documents.
The user interface for the web service has been modified almost entirely, meant to deliver a faster and more fluid experience to all people, regardless of the browser they use to access SkyDrive.
The home page of the service now features a tile-based layout for all folders and files, yet users are also offered the possibility to opt for the detailed view they enjoyed before.
The new design also comes with a series of new features, such as instant search, through which one can easily locate files on SkyDrive, and can find content in Office documents such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint.
Additionally, the service has got a contextual toolbar, which should make it easier to access common tasks and actions. The toolbar is located at the top of the page, so that creating folders and docs, sharing, and common file operations are easier to activate.
Other features now available on SkyDrive include selection of multiple items, drag and drop, and new sorting capabilities, to make it easier for users to find files they are looking for.
The SkyDrive applications for Windows and Mac OS X have been updated as well, to make the experience faster when it comes to a series of key scenarios, all based on the user feedback.
The photo upload capabilities of SkyDrive have been upgraded, now capable of delivering a faster bulk photo upload experience. The SkyDrive app will now use fewer resources when searching for file changes, while the syncing capabilities are faster than before.
All these changes are accompanied by the availability of a mobile application for devices powered by Google’s Android operating system, yet the software is not up for download at the moment. It should land in a matter of weeks.
“The Android app is similar to our mobile apps for Windows Phone and iOS and allows you to browse your SkyDrive, upload files to SkyDrive, as well as share SkyDrive files with ‘Send a link’,” Microsoft explains in a blog post.
“You'll also be able to open SkyDrive files from other apps, as well as upload, save, and share to SkyDrive from other apps.”
There are also a series of improvements that application developers will benefit from with the new SkyDrive, allowing them to integrate the service into mobile and desktop applications easier than before.
Some of the latest changes in this area include:
- No more file restrictions and full control over photo upload resolution - There are no longer any restrictions on the types of files that your application uploads to SkyDrive. Additionally, you can now upload images in their full resolution.
These changes are based on the feedback that Microsoft received from the developer community, and should result in new, innovative applications being launched with the functionality inside.