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New OneDrive for Windows Phone Update Strikes a UI Compromise

New OneDrive for Windows Phone Update Strikes a UI Compromise

OneDrive 4.5

Back in October, Microsoft issued a major update to OneDrive for Windows Phone that added a flat-new look and feel that was quite reminiscent of OneDrive on rival mobile platforms, particularly Android. This apparently didn't sit very well with Windows Phone fans, so Microsoft has reversed that change, and the new version of the app looks more like it did before the October UI change.

That October update to the app, version 4.4. was a big deal for other reasons—it also added support for OneDrive for Business accounts—but users revolted on the OneDrive UserVoice site, no doubt driven by widespread fears that Microsoft has been moving away from promoting Windows Phone's strengths and delivering a more generic experience across platforms. That is, the way the app worked previously used native Windows Phone navigational features, whereas the October update did not.

"We've heard the feedback on the new UI in our latest update to the Windows Phone app," Microsoft's Angus Logan wrote in early November. "We're in the process of improving the usability and polish of our app. Expect to see changes in our next update."

That next update, version 4.5, is here. And as you can see, it looks a lot like it used to look before October, removing the Android look and feel, with its solid blue header. It now features the old pivot control that is so familiar to Windows Phone users, though it does retain the large header area with its "hamburger" menu too. Kind of a compromise, I guess.

OneDrive 4.4 (left) and the new OneDrive 4.5 update (right)

The app also works in landscape mode, though I'm not sure if that is new.

"Our new update is live in the Windows Phone Store," Microsoft Group Program Manager Omar Shahine wrote today on the UserVoice site for OneDrive. "Hope you all think this is an improvement. Thanks for the feedback and pushing us to ensure the design meets your expectations."

As a Windows Phone fan, you may think I was upset about the previous change, but I honestly thought it looked pretty clean and attractive. That said, either look and feel is fine with me, and I like seeing Microsoft listening to Windows Phone users for a change. As a group, this is audience is hanging by a thread these days, and they can use some good news.

TAGS: Office 365
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