Microsoft finally committed to building a proper SkyDrive service. Despite having it linger for several years while Dropbox added tens of millions of users, it's not too late for Microsoft to prop up SkyDrive. In fact, Microsoft would have to try really hard to derail SkyDrive since it's bundling it with Windows 8.
This, along with it being a stable feature of Windows Phone 8, the great new Windows app with automatic sync, a la Dropbox, and support for several platforms
make SkyDrive a worthy contender
The release of the Android SkyDrive app
completes the picture. Microsoft said it was coming, but it's now available in the Google Play Store.
If you're a SkyDrive user, this should be welcomed news. Likewise, if you've been holding out on SkyDrive because of this, wait no longer.
If you're one of the lucky people that have been using SkyDrive since the get go, or at least created an account before the revamp earlier this year, you should be getting 25 GB for free
, significantly more than any of the other mainstream cloud sync/storage services.
"This new app for Android is similar to our mobile apps for Windows Phone and iOS and is a key part of making sure your SkyDrive files are accessible and shareable from all your devices," Microsoft's Mike Torres wrote
"In building the new SkyDrive app for Android, we wanted to ensure we kept the same intuitive design of all SkyDrive experiences while also making use of Android design patterns and conventional interactions, so this feels natural for people with Android phones," he explained.
It's safe to say Microsoft succeeded. The app definitely retains the Metro UI look, with the deep blue and simple design elements, but also retains all of the common Android interface elements. ICS and JellyBean users should be right at home.
The new SkyDrive app is fairly similar to the Dropbox one, but it does a couple of things better. For one, it's significantly easier to download a file to the local storage, something the latest Dropbox versions have made inexplicably hard.
It's also got everything you'd expect, access to all of your cloud files, an integrated photo viewer, uploading new files only takes a couple of pokes, downloading files, several at a time, is even easier. You can share files via email or other apps that can handle it and it can open files from other apps, standard stuff. Overall, it's looking good.