Microsoft has updated SkyDrive bringing the UI into alignment with their forthcoming products by giving it the modern Metro-style design. They’ve also added a bunch of new features, an Android dedicated app is on the way, and they’ve said that selective sync (aka choosing what folders you want to sync) will be a feature coming soon.
The new Skydrive UI give the web app a tile-based layout for files and folders. Along with the redesign comes support for dragging-and-dropping multiple files. A new “contextual toolbar” will make working online easier and the new instant search will help you keep track of all your files. For example, creating folders and docs, sharing, and common file operations are more easily available. Like Windows, you can save your preference for arranging files by date created, modified, or saved on a folder-by-folder basis.
The Skydrive team also announced that an Android app is coming “in just a few weeks.” The Android application should bring parity with its Windows Phone and iOS counterparts for accessing files on the go.
Desktop SkyDrive apps are also faster and more efficient now, especially when it comes to bulk photo uploading and syncing recent changed files. For a visual example of the performance improvement, take a look at the following charts. And remember that actual performance does depend on a number of factors and everyone’s setup is different.
The best news in my opinion was that the Skydrive team announced that Microsoft has “heard feedback about the ability to choose what files you sync” and that we should “stay tuned”. So… selective sync is on the table. Personally, the ability to select certain folders, as opposed to dumping all the files in one “Skydrive folder” is THE feature most lacking in all the online backup services. If Microsoft beats the competition to the punch (Dropbox, GDrive, etc) they’ll be a very attractive online backup and sync solution.
Get the full scoop at Inside Skydrive over at SkyDrive Windows Blog