In an interesting peek at how Microsoft will evolve its OneDrive and OneDrive for Business offerings on other mobile platforms going forward, the firm today issued a new version of OneDrive for Android. And this version of the app lets you access your content in both OneDrive (for consumers) and OneDrive for Business from just the single app.
Before this change, the OneDrive mobile app for Android only supported OneDrive (for consumers). But unlike on iOS (iPhone/iPad), Windows Phone, and Windows 8.x/RT, Microsoft didn't provide a separate OneDrive for Business app. But while we had expected that app to arrive at some point, Microsoft has instead started down a new path, one it will follow on other platforms in the future as well: A single OneDrive app will let you access both OneDrive (for consumers) and OneDrive for Business.
"The lines between work and personal life have blurred, a Microsoft blog post notes. "People use the same devices for work and personal purposes. Anywhere and anytime, people need to be able to easily access, share, edit and collaborate on their files. We want OneDrive to be the one place for everything in your work and life."
This commingling of its consumer and business offerings will surely rankle some, because OneDrive (for consumers) and OneDrive for Business use completely different technical underpinnings. But rather than be pedantic about that, consider that to users, these two services are in effect the same thing, a place to store their files. Their personal and work files, respectively. So offering a single place to access both does in fact make plenty of sense.
(And if it still bothers you, consider this: In the latest versions of Windows, OneDrive is integrated with the file system by default, and you can of course add OneDrive for Business by installing Office 365 (business versions) or the OneDrive for Business client. So you're already accessing both services from the same "app"—File Explorer—in Windows. Why not be able to do so from mobile clients too?)
OneDrive for Android 2.7.0 now provides a familiar "shelf" user interface that slides in from the left when you tap the familiar Menu button (with the three horizontal lines). From this UI, you can choose to browse either OneDrive (for consumers) or OneDrive for Business.
As with the separate apps on other platforms, OneDrive for Android keeps your personal and work files separate, of course. If you enable photo backup through OneDrive (for consumers)—and you should—they won't be backed up to OneDrive for Business, for example. Likewise, you can enable a PIN to protect your files from prying eyes, as you can on the standalone OneDrive for Business app on other platforms.
If you're using iOS (iPhone, iPad) or Windows Phone, no worries: Microsoft says it will also provide an updated OneDrive app on those platforms that combines access to both services. In the meantime, it has issued minor updates to the OneDrive (for consumers) app for both platforms:
OneDrive for iOS. OneDrive users with iDevices can now access a native search experience: Just swipe down in the app to reveal a search box. Also, the app now provides the All Photos view from the web version of OneDrive, providing a way to see all of your OneDrive photos arranged chronologically, and a new camera backup status. (This update shipped two days ago.)
OneDrive for Windows Phone 8.x. On Windows Phone, the OneDrive app now provides access to the OneDrive Recycle Bin and various bug fixes. (This update actually shipped last week.)