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Windows 8 App Update: SkyDrive

Microsoft recently confirmed that it would be updating many of the built-in apps in Windows 8 between the release to manufacturing (RTM) of the OS and its general availability on October 26. Here’s a peek at the changes the firm just made to its Metro-style SkyDrive app.

I wrote about this app updating confirmation in Windows 8: Updates Coming to Built-In Apps after having been speaking about (on podcasts) and writing (here and in Windows 8 Secrets) for months about Microsoft’s plans to do just this.

Here’s what’s new in the SkyDrive app.

New first-run experience

In the RTM version of the SkyDrive app (build 4204), the first time you entered the app, you were simply dumped into the top-level folders structure of your SkyDrive storage.


In the latest version of the SkyDrive app (build 4388), you are now provided with a new first-run experience, which offers to show you a video explaining the service.


The video gives a nice rundown of SkyDrive features and even supports closed captioning.


After the video is complete, you can click a link to view more information about SkyDrive on the web or close the first-run experience.


Search within SkyDrive

If you’ve ever tried to use Windows 8’s otherwise excellent integrated search functionality with the SkyDrive app, you know that the RTM version doesn’t even allow searching. You’re presented with the following warning instead:


In the new version, however, SkyDrive finally does support search, as you’d expect.


Rename and move folders and files

Now, you can rename and move folders and files via a new Manage button in the app bar. These actions previously required you to use SkyDrive’s web interface or install and manage your storage via the SkyDrive desktop application.


View Recycle Bin

As noted about two weeks ago in Microsoft Adds Recycle Bin Feature to SkyDrive, Microsoft added way for users of the web-based version of its cloud storage service—for which the Metro-style SkyDrive app is a front-end—to recover files that were accidentally deleted. Now, through SkyDrive Options (part of Settings), you can access this Recycle Bin via a new button. Note, however, that clicking this loads the web-based version of SkyDrive in the Metro-style version of Internet Explorer.


Share integration

Updated: Ali M. told me via email that SkyDrive now supports the Share charm, so you can do things like share a photo from the Photos app to SkyDrive, instigating a file upload to the SkyDrive folder of your choice.

Here’s how it looks.



Is there more?

Have I missed anything? If you see any new features in the Metro-style SkyDrive app, please let me know and I’ll update this article.

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