As the heading states, you no longer need to use third-party apps on Android to access your SkyDrive account.
Microsoft's Mike Torres said on Tuesday that the official SkyDrive app for Android is now available on Google Play. The app stays true to Microsoft's blocky "Modern" (formerly known as Metro) design, reminding users that Earth's general population will eventually migrate to Windows 8 no matter what non-Microsoft phone they're currently using.
"This new app for Android is similar to our mobile apps for Windows Phone and iOS and is a key part of making sure your SkyDrive files are accessible and shareable from all your devices," Torres said. "In building the new SkyDrive app for Android, we wanted to ensure we kept the same intuitive design of all SkyDrive experiences while also making use of Android design patterns and conventional interactions, so this feels natural for people with Android phones."
Torres said the new app is designed to work best with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) although it’s also fully functional on Android 2.3 and above. Once open, users can either view folders and files in the Modern tiled layout we've come to know and love on Windows Phone 7, or as a list view with tiled icons (seen left). Either way, finding your documents, photos, and other files -- plus the files other people have shared with you -- is incredibly easy.
"We want to ensure that you’re able to have your files accessible across the various devices you use—so it’s important that we continue to extend the SkyDrive experience to the devices you use every day," he said.
With SkyDrive or Android, users can now upload their pictures and videos within the stock Gallery app. As an example, users can create a new folder within the SkyDrive app -- Mobile Pics for instance -- and then exit the app and go into Android's Gallery. Users then choose the photo to upload, select Menu, Share, and then SkyDrive. Microsoft's app then reappears, requiring the user to select the destination, and tap "Upload" to send the image to the cloud. Simple.
Want to share the picture? Just go back into the SkyDrive app, go into the folder, and hold a finger on the image. The app will then pull up four icons at the bottom: trash, link, download and share. The link icon will pull up a popup that asks the user if the image will be viewable only, or viewable and editable. Sharing means the user will download the photo to the smartphone or tablet again, and then go through the share steps again. Want to link to the entire folder? Simply press on the folder itself out on the main SkyDrive screen and wait for the link icon to appear.
To get SkyDrive for Android, head over to Google Play here.