Microsoft has released an update to OneDrive, their cloud storage app & service, for Android that brings a much improved photo sync capability to your phone or tablet. The updated version is build 3.9.1 for those keeping score at home and it is available now in the Google Play Store. The entire update seemingly is focused on helping you make sure that the photos you have on your device get sync’d up, not just those you take with your phone’s camera. Let me explain.
While much digital ink has been spilled this week on the changes coming to Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service, there is one element of this announcement that I haven’t seen much discussion on in the course of these writings. That’s not to say it isn’t out there, just not much of it. That element is the view that the announcement was nothing short of a victory of Google and the Google Drive service. It is a victory without them having to “dive to the bottom” on pricing to win. They simply stayed the course and let Microsoft figure out that giving away unlimited storage is unsustainable.
For those who somehow missed what I’m talking about, earlier this week Microsoft announced big changes coming to OneDrive:
- The Free account goes down from 15GB of storage to 5GB and the 15GB “Camera Roll” bonus (you got it when you sync’d your photos with OneDrive) is eliminated
- Office 365 subscribers now get 1TB of storage, not unlimited
- the 100GB and 200GB storage accounts are going away to for new subscribers (if you have one of these you can keep it) and is replaced with a $1.99/month 50GB account.
These changes fly in the face of the much hyped “unlimited” storage offer that Microsoft made just last year and has angered plenty of people because, until this change, OneDrive was really the best value out there when it came to cloud storage.
That has now changed and Google Drive is certainly looking to be one of the more attractive mainstream cloud storage offers out in the market.
Yesterday I ran into a problem with the new Office for Android apps where I was not able to see all of my folders from OneDrive in the app. As you may know, the Office for Android apps look to OneDrive (and other storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox) for documents. In my OneDrive, I have 6 total folders including my Pictures folder but only 2 of them were showing up. I tried several things to get them to appear including resetting the apps on both my OnePlus One and Galaxy Tab 4 but I still got no joy. That’s when I turned to Google+ and asked for help from the Microsoft Office for Android team. Today I got an answer and this little work around works perfectly.
Microsoft’s continual update of their apps for Android continues and the big news today is concerning OneDrive. The cloud-based storage app OneDrive for Android has been updated to version 3.2 for those keeping score at home and now has the ability to cast your photos and files to your television via Chromecast. It is a sign that Microsoft’s commitment to Android remains strong but also another app in the ever-growing Play Store that supports Chromecast.
The OneDrive team has had a busy day today. Earlier this morning they released an update to OneDrive for Android with several new features and fixes and tonight we see a new OneDrive for Windows Phone version now available. The update, version 18.104.22.168 for those keeping score at home, brings mostly bug fixes and improvements but also brings a Transparent Live Tile to the app. I personally think that transparent Live tiles are one of the things that seperates Windows Phone from a user experience perspective than iOS or Android as it allow you to make your device more personal. OneDrive now is offers this for those who like it which is great to see.
The OneDrive for Android app has receive a big update today, bringing several new features including the ability to stream videos within the app itself. The update, version 3.0 for those keeping score at home, is now available at the Play Store and is free. Like on Windows Phone, OneDrive is a free service for 15GB of storage and if you allow the app to upload your photos automatically from your camera roll, you get another 15GB free. It is one of the best values for cloud storage available today and sticking with Microsoft’s drive to have their apps on all platforms, is available on Windows Phone, Android, iOS, PC and Mac.
The OneDrive for Windows Phone app has seen another small update with the focus on the vague “bug fixes and performance improvements” category. The update, version 22.214.171.124 for those keeping score at home, does not list any other updates or changes as part of the update. I appreciate these types of updates are not super exciting but it is good to see developers, particularly Microsoft, continue to improve and tweak their apps.
If you have auto updates enabled on your Windows Phone then you have likely already had this update pushed to your phone. If not, go to the Store, tap the Menu button (…) > Settings then scroll down to Check for Updates. The update is tiny so it will only take a minute or so to install.
Yesterday, Amazon announced two new unlimited storage plans for the Amazon Cloud Drive to help it compete in the personal cloud storage market. While the offerings are okay, for Windows and Windows Phone users, there is likely a better deal to be had with OneDrive, Microsoft’s own cloud storage solution. The biggest problem for Windows Phone users is the lack of an app for Amazon Cloud Drive which can make uploading to these new unlimited services a challenge, especially on-the-go.