SkyDrive Launches On Android Smartphones, Brings Faux Modern UI Experience

29 August 2012, 1:11 pm EDT By Jonathan Charles Mobile & Apps

Microsoft announced via a blog post that it is launching an app for its cloud storage service SkyDrive for Android. The update brings the new Metro UI to Android, following in the footsteps of Xbox Live for iOS.

SkyDrive is Microsoft's cloud storage service and rival to competitors including Google Drive and Dropbox. Comparing the cloud storage service to Google Drive, and competitor's like Dropbox, reveals that Microsoft's service is competitive in terms of price. Microsoft is integrating the service into Windows 8, using the Modern UI, where tile sizes represent files and folders. The service can also be accessed remotely via a different PC.

Users can browse and access documents, photos, and files via the SkyDrive app. Users can also see recently opened documents and files that users share. Multiple photos and videos can be uploaded from a phone, and files and folders can be shared by sending a link or an e-mail in apps. Users can open SkyDrive files from non-SkyDrive apps and can delete or create new folders.

Microsoft said in the blog post that the app is similar to the apps available for iOS and Windows Phone and is a "key part of making sure your SkyDrive files are accessible and shareable from all your devices". At E3 2012 in Los Angeles, Microsoft announced the SmartGlass app. It is also available on iOS and Android.

Despite hinting towards the new Metro UI, Microsoft added that it wanted to blend the SkyDrive experiences used across its devices while adhering to Android's "design patterns and conventional interactions," resulting in a natural experience for Android device owners.

Users looking for an experience closest to Windows 8 will probably have to head to Windows Phone, given how it uses Windows 8's tile-based user interface, though Microsoft replicated Modern UI on Xbox Live for iOS to a positive reception. Microsoft redesigned SkyDrive this month as Windows 8's release and the new Modern UI design approach.

SkyDrive for Android is available now to download for free. The app works on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and above, though optimally performs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. The iOS and Windows Phone apps are available to download, also free.

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