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access skydrive from iphoneWhile the whole 3 Features That May Make You Want to Start Using Windows Live Messenger 3 Features That May Make You Want to Start Using Windows Live Messenger Read More line A Review of Windows Live Mail 2011 A Review of Windows Live Mail 2011 Read More of Windows Live products What You Get & Don't Get With Windows Live Essentials - & How To Customize What You Get & Don't Get With Windows Live Essentials - & How To Customize In the past, Microsoft has bundled quite a bit of software with Windows to give users the best experience. With Windows 7 however, the company changed tact and moved some useful but non-essential software into... Read More seems to have received a growing positive response The Top 5 Free Microsoft Products & Why They Are The Best The Top 5 Free Microsoft Products & Why They Are The Best Read More , even more so with the revamp in looks and features 3 Cool Things You Can Do With Windows 7 Cloud 3 Cool Things You Can Do With Windows 7 Cloud If you're running Windows 7, it's entirely possible you've never even heard of the Windows 7 Cloud. Beyond being the thing that came installed with your new computer, there's actually an awful lot of incredibly... Read More , 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 Windows Live Skydrive & 3 Alternative Online Storage Services Windows Live Skydrive & 3 Alternative Online Storage Services Read More (e.g. Dropbox and Box), and allows for easy photo album How to Email Photos to Your Free 25GB Windows Live SkyDrive How to Email Photos to Your Free 25GB Windows Live SkyDrive Read More 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 Map Online Service As a Network Drive with Gladinet (Windows) Map Online Service As a Network Drive with Gladinet (Windows) Read More Office documents to SkyDrive from Windows Explorer via WebDAV How to Upload & Sync Files to SkyDrive from Windows Explorer How to Upload & Sync Files to SkyDrive from Windows Explorer Read More .

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.
access skydrive from iphone
Once you tap on SkyDrive, you’ll see all of your content, sorted by folders.
skydrive iphone app
If you tap on any folders, you’ll be directed to a thumbnail view of that folder, much like you would expect.
skydrive iphone app
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.
skydrive iphone app
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.
skydrive iphone
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.
skydrive iphone
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.
access skydrive from iphone
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.

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Do you wish Microsoft would come out with official apps for SkyDrive? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: eponas-deeway, Asher

  1. Paul-Felix Olthof
    October 7, 2011 at 11:27 am

    iUnarchive added SkyDrive in version 1.8.0. You can browse, download, upload and delete files. iUnarchive is a native iOS solution for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad with iOS 3.1.2 or better.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      October 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      Great find! It's about a buck cheaper than iSMEStorage so it's good to have alternatives. Thanks for the tip.

      iUnarchive [iTunes link]

    • McGyver
      November 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      IUnarchive has it all, I guess they updated, you need iOS 4.0 minimum now to install it.

  2. Chris Wyld
    September 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    or, you could open Safari, go to the MSN mobile site, open hotmail and click the Menu dropdown and select SkyDrive!
    it's free and works well on my iPhone :)

    • Jessica Cam W.
      September 29, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      You actually bring up a good point. Since accessing the Skydrive website requires Internet, iPad/iPod Touch owners will probably be out of luck unless they're connected. I guess that's why the iSMEStorage app could be useful.

  3. Henry Iqbah
    September 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Web interface is not so nice from the iPad. iSMEStorage works very nice for SkyDrive both on my iPad and Android phone (even for Live Mesh files).

    • Jessica Cam W.
      September 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks for the tip. I'm sure it will be helpful for users who don't mind paid apps.

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