Creating the most beautiful and powerful way to view, share, and search your photos with HTML5

With SkyDrive, we aim to create the best experience for people who use Windows – just last week we shared details about “placeholder files” in Windows 8.1. But we also know a lot of people like to get to their SkyDrive files via SkyDrive.com. Today we’re releasing a set of new features that make SkyDrive.com an even better place to store your most precious digital memories – with support for more file types, new editing features, more ways to share with anyone, and added controls over what you’ve shared. Oh, and one more little surprise for the power users out there (more on this later).

 

Bringing more photo capabilities to the web

 

We’ve had native support for RAW camera files in SkyDrive for quite some time – letting photographers use SkyDrive to store and share the best quality photos they can. But while there are powerful cameras that can capture RAW images, we’re also seeing the cameras in phones becoming more capable at taking incredible images too. The Nokia Lumia 1020 with its amazing 41 megapixel camerademonstrates just how amazing the cameras in phones can be. The screens for viewing photos are getting better too – especially high DPI screens like the ClearType Full HD and Retina displays. So now, SkyDrive.com supports these high DPI displays by measuring the DPI scale of your device. When your screen supports it, we show higher resolution photos and thumbnails. So you see more of your real photo instead of a thumbnail that gets up-scaled (note: not all browsers support high DPI yet).

 

We also decided to look at other photo file types and give some of our old friends an update as well. If you’ve ever seen an animated GIF (pronounced “jif”) on the Interwebs (and probably laughed), you were probably disappointed to find out that when you saved and shared that same animated GIF on SkyDrive, it wasn’t animated. Well now you can view your favorite animated GIFs in all their glory!

 

Sorting and management

 

What seems like a small and simple thing—photo rotation—is often done automatically by your device, which sometimes doesn’t get it quite right. So now, you can rotate photos on SkyDrive.com as well. This Mickey Mouse pancake photo wasn’t rotated correctly, but with one click of the Rotate button, it’s looking much better.

 

SkyDrive-rotate_thumb_33B697A4

 

A few months ago, we introduced the All photos view, and we’ve gotten great feedback on it. People seem to enjoy the fact that you can see all the photos you have anywhere in your SkyDrive, but would also love to see this view for a specific album.

 

So, now you can filter the photos in this view to a specific folder in your SkyDrive via the filter control below:

 

SkyDrive-Filter-All-Photos-View_thumb_19E4F226

 

Sharing is now easier and you have more control

 

As more people have put their files in SkyDrive and shared many of them with friends and family, they’ve been asking us for more flexibility in the kinds of ways they could share. Until now, you could only share two types of things in SkyDrive:

  1. An entire folder and all its contents
  2. Individual files inside a folder

 

This mostly worked fine, until a couple of things started to change.

 

First, we’ve been seeing more and more mobile phone photos coming to SkyDrive via automatic upload and the camera roll feature on Windows Phones and Windows 8 tablets and PCs. And second, people are capturing more and more of their everyday photos with their phones—photos of birthday parties, pictures of their kids, and snapshots of things they see and want to buy or research later. But our existing sharing controls required that you move your photos into folders to share them, or only share them one at a time. And that just made it harder than it should be.

 

Also, since releasing our All Photos view, you could easily organize the photos by date, but you still couldn’t share a selection of those photos as an album.

 

Well today, we’re happy to introduce a new capability on SkyDrive.com: the ability to share individual groups of files from anywhere in your SkyDrive. You can share two photos from your camera roll, or a hundred. You can share a file in one folder along with another file from a different folder. And you can share different things with different people.

 

For example, here are some camera roll photos that I took this winter. I can just click the date heading (Saturday 2, 12:07 pm), and then click the Sharing command to share just the pictures from that date:

 

SkyDrive-all-photos-by-date_thumb_663F1678

 

From here, I can get a link or share via email, like anything else on SkyDrive.

 

Send-a-link_thumb_733B873A

 

The recipient gets an email that looks like this:

 

Sharing-an-album-by-email_thumb_750E6DB2

 

And when they click to view the photos, it looks like an album:

 

Viewing-a-shared-album_thumb_65FCB03A

 

The new Shared view

 

Many of you have asked for better ways to track all the things you’ve shared. Previously it was cumbersome to un-share something or keep track of all the things different people have access to. To solve this problem, we’re introducing the new Shared view.

 

The new Shared view shows you all the stuff you’ve shared, and what’s been shared with you. Your own stuff is at the top of the list, sorted by what you’ve most recently shared. This is followed by a list of people who’ve shared something with you, sorted by who shared things most recently.

 

SkyDrive-Shared-view_thumb_3A3CF47F

 

Anyone can edit, no matter how you share

 

A few months ago we introduced the ability to share links to Office documents, allowing people to edit them without signing in. Today we’re pleased to extend that same feature to when you share any SkyDrive file via email. Now when you check “Recipients can edit” we really do mean any recipient, no sign-in required.

 

Send-a-link-to-a-document_thumb_0EF95997

 

One last special treat for our developer friends

 

Today I’d like to share a new technology in SkyDrive for power users and enthusiasts, allowing you to edit many different kinds of text files in the browser. Even though SkyDrive.com has a web-based version of Word available for free, sometimes you just need simpler tool to edit things like todo.txt.

 

SkyDrive now has native support for viewing and editing many different kinds of text files. This includes JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and many code files. It includes support for syntax highlighting, find, and word completion suggestions. You can also share these files with your friends, and they can edit them. And you can “diff” changes, so you can see conflicts between edits. This is a convenient feature for developers; however, for a complete end-to-end development solution, you can still get that with Microsoft Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server.

 

Here is a screenshot of my todo.txt file:

 

Text-file-on-SkyDrive_thumb_5D8F0A86

 

You can even see how SkyDrive suggested the remainder of my last item (5. Review) as I typed!

 

I also have a few dozen registry keys and cmd files that I’ve collected over the years that I apply when I set up a new PC. Now I can view all of those right in SkyDrive! Here is one of my favorites, a cmd file that deletes all the sample images and videos on a PC:

 

Cmd-file-on-SkyDrive_thumb_4D16998B

 

For more info about the text editor in SkyDrive.com, watch Greg Edmiston’s Channel 9 interview.

 

We hope you enjoy how these improvements help make SkyDrive an even better way to always have your files with you. Check them out and let us know what you think.

 

- Omar Shahine, Group Program Manager, SkyDrive.com


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