Microsoft SkyDrive is a cloud storage solution that lets you store files online, and access them on multiple devices. You can also upload photos, office documents, or other files and share them with other users — who can view them in a browser. SkyDrive also works with Microsoft Office, letting you save files to the cloud, or even edit them using a web browser.
It’s already a pretty decent service, offering 7GB of free storage or additional space for a small annual fee. But now Microsoft is rolling out a major update with a new design, better search, new desktop apps, and an Android app.
The most noticeable change is the new user interface for the SkyDrive website. It looks a lot like the Windows Phone or Windows 8 user interface, with a clean design and a default view featuring large icons or “tiles” for your files instead of tiny thumbnails.
You can still choose the “details” view to see a good old-fashioned list of files, along with the date modified and the file size.
Microsoft has also added a new contextual toolbar to the top of the screen, the ability to select multiple files and folder in thumbnail view and drag-and-drop them, and improved search.
The new user interface starts rolling out today, and users should start noticing it when they login to their SkyDrive accounts using a web browser in the next day or so.
There are also new SkyDrive apps for Windows and OS X, featuring bulk photo upload improvements and reduced CPU usage while synchronizing files.
In a few weeks Microsoft will release the first official SkyDrive app for Android, letting you view or open files stored in your account or upload files from your device.
SkyDrive apps are already available for Windows Phone and iOS.