App of the day: SkyDrive review (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone)

Microsoft's SkyDrive, a potential Dropbox beater, has now made its way on to iOS. The app is compatible with both iPhone and iPad and offers many different ways to back up and view various forms of media.

Until now, Apple has prevented Microsoft from updating the iOS SkyDrive app, allegedly over revenue-sharing disputes. Now Microsoft has pushed out the 3.0 update, bringing with it iPhone 5, iPad Mini and full-resolution photo downloads. We figured with the update out, it was time we gave the SkyDrive app a proper run for its money. Read on to find out how it handles.

SkyDrive review

Format
iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Price
Free
Where
iTunes, Google Play, Windows Phone Marketplace

SkyDrive is a fairly simple premise. It is the cloud in its most basic form. One single place where you can store all your data and then read and access it on different devices. The SkyDrive app for iOS means you can now access this data on any Apple device.

SkyDrive is literally a drive, on your Windows machine it will appear as a set of files on your computer, just like Dropbox. Inside the drive, whatever files you create will then sync with the iOS, Google Play and Windows Phone Marketplace apps. 

In the case of iOS, which we are testing here, you have a list of folders you can label. On the bottom of the app screen are four tabs: files, recent, shared and settings. Files equates to all your SkyDrive data, recent shows that you have just viewed, in order, and shared displays all files you have shared with other SkyDrive users.

SkyDrive also allows you to upload multiple photos or videos at once from your iPhone straight to the cloud. Sharing a file from within the app is as simple as emailing a link through to contacts which the app will create. 

SkyDrive can allow you to open the documents stored in the app within other iOS applications. The iTunes listing for the app explains that the 3.0 update increases compatibility but doesn't go into specifics - which is irritating, because we simply can't know from the vast number of apps available that will work with SkyDrive.

SkyDrive's file management system is good and the ability to browse photos, videos and read documents is definitely a bonus. Microsoft is also quite proud of the aggressive pricing with SkyDrive, even creating a page on its website to show how it compares to the likes of Dropbox.

With 7GB of free storage from the start, compared to iCloud's 5GB and Dropbox's 2GB, it means you get the most bang for your buck, or lack of. Alternatively, you could just sign up to both all them and store separate docs across separate apps, increasing your free storage dramatically.

The 3.0 update for iOS is a nice tweak, but SkyDrive was already a good app. Now it just looks better on your iPhone 5.