Microsoft’s SkyDrive Gets Enhanced Touch Support And Easier To Use Sharing Capabilities

January 9, 2013 0

Redmond, Washington — Relentlessly striving to improve its cloud offerings, software maker Microsoft on Tuesday announced a slew of improvements to its SkyDrive.com, noting they are being released today and should be available for all “soon.”

The most essential updates include the execution of new HTML5 features making SkyDrive easier to use for touch-enabled devices. A new unified view showing you how each of your files is shared, HTML5 gestures for touch devices, and more drag-and-drop capabilities for managing your files, photos, and documents have also been introduced, making the management  easier than ever.

Initially, let us peek at this new integrated view for sharing permissions. Since SkyDrive empowers you to share your files via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or just via a link, Microsoft has noticed people are often using more than one of these at a time.

To simplify things, the company has added a unified view that shows all sharing-related info and tasks have been condensed into one single screen, allowing users to select, share and view who has access to the files all in one place. Once the desired document has been shared, users can change the access each person has (view only or edit). Besides, SkyDrive now features some improvements for users on touch devices (including, of course, Windows 8) and improved drag-and-drop support for all users.

In order to check out the new view option, you will need to first select a document and click Share in the command bar. As you can see on the left-hand side under Permissions, you can further select a given share and change the access type to the document in question (view only or edit) or remove it all together.

Elaborating on the release, Microsoft’s SkyDrive group program manager Omar Shahine says in today’s announcement, it becomes harder to track how you shared a file and who you are sharing it with. “To make this easier, we have unified all sharing-related info and tasks into a single screen,” writes Shahine. “So now when you select a document and click Share in the command bar, you will see all the different ways to share the item as well as who has access.”

As for touch-enabled devices, Microsoft has made it so that users can now select an item, or multiple items by swiping on the item to the left or right. This is similar to how Windows 8 works (repeating the touch gesture will deselect the item or items):

Among other things, Microsoft has enhanced drag-and-drop support. In addition to being able to drag and drop files into your SkyDrive, users can now simply drag files by using the bread crumb bar at the top of the directory as their target, which should make moving files around a bit easier:

Apart from these feature updates, the company is also making some back-end updates that should make SkyDrive a bit faster and reliable. As usual, Microsoft is announcing this update today, but is rolling it out gradually.

Last but not least, Microsoft is iterating SkyDrive on a frequent basis in order to stay competitive with the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive. Though, it is not an easy fight.

Take a look at SkyDrive, below:

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