While the whole line of Windows Live products seems to have received a growing positive response, even more so with the revamp in looks and features, Windows Live services still seem a bit under hyped. One such service, Windows Live SkyDrive, is (according to this author) highly underrated.
SkyDrive offers about 5 times more free storage than other popular online storage services (e.g. Dropbox and Box), and allows for easy photo album and file sharing. Perhaps the best part yet is that you can create and edit documents on the cloud with Office Web Apps, and even upload Office documents to SkyDrive from Windows Explorer via WebDAV.
SkyDrive doesn’t just serve as an online storage and sharing site. If you own a smartphone or Wi-fi enabled device, you could skip transferring files via USB cable and retrieve them from SkyDrive. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t released as of yet, official SkyDrive apps for either Android or iOS. There are, however, unofficial apps, such as the free Sorami for Android (which I’ve tried and works well) and the $4.99 iSMEStorage for iOS [iTunes link].
Here we’ll take a look at the mobile site that serves up Windows Live SkyDrive on Safari and any other browser on the iPhone.
Navigating The Mobile Windows Live Site
On your mobile browser, type live.com in the URL bar and hit Go. The site seems mostly optimized for the Hotmail service, so you’ll be directed to your Hotmail inbox at first. Tap the Menu option on the top right of the screen so you can see links for SkyDrive, among other Windows Live services.
Once you tap on SkyDrive, you’ll see all of your content, sorted by folders.
If you tap on any folders, you’ll be directed to a thumbnail view of that folder, much like you would expect.
If you long hold on any image you have in a SkyDrive folder, Safari doesn’t seem to be able to capture the image for saving. I had to try in a separate browser (Atomic Lite) to save the image.
For other types of files, including OneNote files, the mobile SkyDrive site compresses the files and provides zip files for download, most likely because there’s no mobile OneNote file viewer. Here’s a screenshot of my “Main” OneNote notebook.
For actual Office documents, you can easily view them on the mobile site, as well as download the original files, see thumbnails, navigate to a page in a multi-page document, see the text only, and more.
For other types of files, such as PDF, Safari Mobile will display the file, but you can also launch another app to display the same file.
That’s about all the features you’ll see in the mobile site. In my testing, loading skydrive.live.com gave me blank pages at least half a dozen times so if you end up experiencing the same thing, just try later or go back to live.com.
While I need to admit that it’d be a lot nicer if there were official apps on Android and iOS to access SkyDrive, right now the mobile site for SkyDrive serves its purpose. Still, let’s hope this article gets read and considered by Microsoft developers so we can actually use SkyDrive more seamlessly on our mobile phones with downloadable apps.
Do you wish Microsoft would come out with official apps for SkyDrive? Let us know in the comments!