skydrive

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Handyscan updated and goes on sale!

Handyscan is a very nice Windows Phone app that allows you to scan documents, share them by email and upload them to your SkyDrive account. We have been impressed with Handyscan and it was recently updated.  As an added bonus, Handyscan is on sale this week. Just a few of Handyscan's key features include:

  • Independent scanning resolution and flash options
  • Deep zoom in/out controls
  • Scan multiple pages per document and save as single file
  • Import/export photos
  • SkyDrive and Dropbox support
  • Scan digitalize signatures
  • Align and crop scanned documents

The app was recently updated to version 3.11 to fix a few minor bugs and add automatic document naming (you can set the parameters in the app's settings). Along with the update, JDB Pocketware is offering the full version of Handyscan for $.99 (regular price is $2.99)

There is a free, ad supported version of Handyscan (slightly limited in functionality) but for $.99 the full version is a steal of a deal. You can find the full version of Handyscan here at the Windows Phone Marketplace and the free version can be found here.

It's really one heck of a deal on the full version.

          

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While details are scarce, we're getting a lot of reports that the official SkyDrive app for Windows Phone received an update tonight.

Indeed, the app has a version 2.1 stamp on it now, shortly after going to version 2.0 just two weeks ago. We can't see any new features (no batch uploads, etc.) but presumably there are some under the hood fixes on board.

We're not sure if it's new or not but uploading photos directly via this app does preserve photo integrity, which is good news for those with 8 or 16MP cameras. We tried both our Titan II and Lumia 900 and both photos were completely untouched, meaning we're using this as our default photo upload service (more on that tomorrow).

Anyway, if you find any other changes, hit us up in comments as it's late here and our perusing skills are waning by the moment.

Pick up version 2.1 here in the Marketplace. Thanks, everyone, for the tips

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Curious about how SkyDrive can make your life more useful? Read our guide to find out.

Cloud storage is becoming more and more mainstream, especially among smartphone and tablet owners where local storage is limited. Storing data in the clouds (remotely hosted servers) enables the owner to access data from any supported location. DropBox is probably the best known example of cloud storage for PC users with native clients available for both Windows and Mac.

Microsoft has its own cloud storage solution, but how does SkyDrive compare to competitors? We'll take a quick glance at some features of Microsoft's product against Dropbox, Apple's iCloud and Google Drive. Microsoft has also published a chart of their own, which offers a more in-depth comparison.

 

  SkyDrive DropBox iCloud Drive Free Storage 7GB* 2.5GB 5GB 5GB Price +20GB - $10/yr
+50GB - $25/yr
+100GB - $50/yr 50GB - $99/yr
100GB - $199/yr 10GB - $20/yr
20GB - $40/yr
50GB - $100/yr 25GB - $2.49/mo
100GB - $4.99/mo
~16TB available Platforms iOS, Mac, PC, WP Droid, iOS, Mac, PC, WP iOS, Mac Droid, Mac, PC

*25GB is available for existing users.

According to the table above, SkyDrive is a more attractive option compared to competitors, but what about Windows Phone? Microsoft has developed its own cloud storage solution that was formed with the Live umbrella of products, and its fully integrated into Windows Phone with a complimentary app to go with. But where exactly is this integration?

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Microsoft takes on Dropbox and Google Drive with the latest version of their SkyDrive service

Today Microsoft has announced new SkyDrive storage plans for their cloud service as well as new native sync apps for Windows PC and Apple OSX. Combined with official apps for Windows Phone and iOS that were recently updated, Microsoft looks to undercut the market leader Dropbox and block Google from cutting in on their territory.

Clearly the cloud-storage service SkyDrive will be a center piece between Windows 8, Windows Phone and Xbox 360 going forward. Best of all, Microsoft has extended this offer to Mac users who can also benefit from the new SkyDrive functionality.

We reported on the news yesterday that the SkyDrive app for Windows Phone had been updated, but we can now rejoice with Windows, Mac and iPhone support now being available. Both PC and Mac preview clients work in similar ways. SkyDrive sits comfortably as a central folder in Windows Explorer and Mac Finder, much like Dropbox, and files (up to 2GB) can be transferred between computers (and supported devices).

With the revamp of the SkyDrive service and new clients being released, Microsoft has also lowered the freely available storage from 25GB to 7GB, noting in the MSDN blog post that 99.94% of SkyDrive users currently use 7GB or less. Even at 7GB for free, Microsoft has given a solid left-hook to rival Dropbox who offer a mere 2GB of free storage.

New SkyDrive clients and apps in action

Note, however, should you be an existing SkyDrive user, Microsoft is offering the opportunity to keep the 25GB (or upgrade in this case) for free so be sure to check out the offer on your SkyDrive account (login via the skydrive.live.com). An alert will be displayed announcing "SkyDrive's free storage is changing."

If 25GB (or 7GB if you're a new user or miss out on the free upgrade) isn't enough for your needs, Microsoft is offering three upgrade options for the SkyDrive service:

  • Additional 20GB - £6/yr ($10)
  • Addition 50GB - £16/yr ($25)
  • Additional 100GB - £32/yr ($50)

The above plans and native clients were all first reported by Brazilian website Gemind, back in February. It's interesting to note that Microsoft has unleashed the updates to their service now, just before Google are set to unveil Google Drive as a cloud-based storage solution for their ecosystem. The features present in SkyDrive however are more appealing, minus the Android support for owners of green robotic devices.

Source: MSDN

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Busy day here at WPCentral and for Windows Phone. While we just reported the official Skype app going "gold" and hitting version 1.0 users can also go get the official SkyDrive app which is now at version 2.0. Coming out last December, the official SkyDrive app was a long over-due addition to Windows Phone and this update coincides nicely with the recent backend changes, including more friendly URLs.

There doesn't seem to be that many new features but there are a few that we've noticed. The UI has been re-worked a bit especially for dialogs and menu options. In addition, the ability to batch-select items for deletion or moving will come as a great tool for many

It also looks like you can manage permissions for folders and files directly now, allowing certain items to be shared and edited with others. Even more cool, you choose contacts from the People Hub to share those files, even granting editing access (it will even alert them that you've shared items). This should be a big feature for those who need to do online collaboration or need others to view something with minimal effort.

We'll peep around for more new stuff and if you find any, hit us up in comments. Grab the official SkyDrive app version 2.0 here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Sarang68, for the tip!

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Microsoft has been pouring resources into the SkyDrive service with a recent update that introduced a fresh batch of features and functionality. While 25GB is offered for absolutely nothing (and is more than enough for most users), the software giant is looking to introduce paid upgrade plans according to a report by the Brazilian site Gemind

The prices for storage upgrades that allow up to a cumulative total of 125GB (25GB standard + an extra 100GB) available cloud storage space, are set to look like the following:

  • +20GB for $11/yr
  • +50GB for $27/yr
  • +100GB for $54/yr

Not only that but there's evidence of native clients for both Windows and Mac (see below), which will please many for more convenient access to their stored files.

The news of a Mac client will definitely impress users as iCloud upgrades can prove costly. In fact, Microsoft could really work wonders with SkyDrive on Apple's platform with the iOS app and now for the desktop OS. It's not known when this rollout will cover the rest of the world.

Source: Gemind.br, via: TNW, thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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According to Pocketnow, they've seen a video hosted by senior vice president and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore (see our interview) meant for Nokia and their partners. In the video, new details of Windows Phone 8 (aka 'Apollo') are revealed, of which there are many.

  • Four new screen resolutions (though exact dimensions not revealed)
  • Multicore processors
  • NFC support for a new "Wallet experience" e.g. wireless payments and tap-to-share
  • Removable microSD storage
  • Based on Windows 8 kernel, not WinCE: Reuse of Windows 8 Desktop code for Windows Phone apps i.e. kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support
  • Zune Desktop is going away in exchange for a more native, sync relationship application i.e. the return of ActiveSync
  • Richer Skydrive support for things like sharing music between devices (Xbox, desktop, phone)
  • "The New Familiar" may be a tagline for Windows 8/Windows Phone 8
  • More than 100,000 apps to be expected at Windows Phone 8 launch
  • Local Scout WiFi "hotspot" integration to aggressively find free data connections; personal recommendations included
  • Data usage glance-and-go support via Live Tile
  • Server side data compression for Internet Explore 10 to reduce data traffic and speed up browsing
  • 128-bit native BitLocker data encryption for Enterprise

That certainly is a lot and we're sure just the tip of the iceberg in regards to Windows Phone 8. Clearly Microsoft is gearing up to talk about WP8 in the next few months, so we should start to expect a steady flow of information coming forward soon. What do you folks think? Pleased with the direction Microsoft is heading?

Update: Paul Thurrott is now confirming all the information from the video.

Source: PocketNow

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Windows Phone App Review: Cloud Music

Skydrive is a great resource for your Windows Phone for off-device storage and Cloud Music is a handy app to tap into any music files you may have stored in your Skydrive account. We first mentioned Cloud Music some time ago when the developer was looking for beta testers. Well, Cloud Music is now available over in the Windows Phone Marketplace and in giving the music app a try, it's not too shabby.

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Timelapse Pro is a handy app for your Windows Phone for time lapse photography. We took a look at it a while ago and found it to be a very nice photography app for your Windows Phone. Timelapse Pro was recently updated to version 2.5 that adds Skydrive support and the ability to create animated .gif files from your time lapse footage.

You can still create videos from the time lapse photos through third party apps such as Windows Live Movie Maker. But if you need a quick way to generate an animated presentation from your pictures, the .gif creator comes in handy.

Once you finish capturing your photos, when you go to preview the footage you will still see the options to record more photos, save photos, or delete the picture set.  With version 2.5 the option to upload the video comes into play.

When you choose to upload the video you will be taken to an upload wizard where you choose the resolution size (up to 480x360).  Once the .gif is created you can choose where to upload the .gif file to. You can choose your Skydrive account or upload the file to Timelapse Pro's server (20mb size limit). Once uploaded you will be provided a link that you can share as you wish (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

All in all, the update improves Timelapse Pro rather nicely. There is a trial version available (doesn't support the .gif upload feature though) and the full version of Timelapse Pro will run you $.99.  You can find Timelapse Pro here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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CloudMusic is looking for Beta Testers

Celltrac Software is working on the Windows Phone App CloudMusic, a SkyDrive music app, and is looking for a few beta testers. The application taps into your SkyDrive account and allows you to play any music files that you have stored in the cloud.

We've gotten a sneak peak at CloudMusic and the app is laid out in simple fashion with pages for your SkyDrive music collection, what is now playing, recently played songs, and new songs. The app does require you to organize your music in a specific manner in order for CloudMusic to find the tunes.

Just tinkering with the Beta, it does have room for improvement but a nice step in the right direction. Songs took a while to load and you've got to get the music file organization just right. If you're interested in being a beta tester for CloudMusic just email your Windows Live ID to support@celltracsoftware.com.

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Perfect Scan updated, adds SkyDrive support

Katana Labs has recently updated their popular Windows Phone document scanner, Perfect Scan to version 1.6. The update brings fixes for Dropbox integration, document auto naming and SkyDrive support to the Windows Phone app.

Some of the key features of Perfect Scan include:

  • Scans multi page documents, Makes industry standard PDF files
  • Upload scans to email, Skydrive, Dropbox and Google Documents
  • Automatic page detection & perspective correction: straightens your page to perfect rectangle
  • Image enhancement: crop, rotation, auto contract, grayscale, black & white
  • Adds text to document: fill out forms on your phone
  • Signs documents with your scanned signatures

We reviewed Perfect Scan some time ago and found it to be a very good document scanner for your Windows Phone. Adding SkyDrive support will only make app more versatile.

There is a trial version available for Perfect Scan with the full version running $2.99. You can find Perfect Scan here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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The Microsoft SkyDrive app has been launched. SkyDrive was recently opened up to developers to use with their application (e.g. Handyscan) and now you can access and manage your SkyDrive from a stand alone application.

The SkyDrive App allows you to browse your entire SkyDrive files and share them. Just tap and hold on a particular file and folder and pop-up menu appears. Here you can choose to send a link that will let others view the file/folder or view and edit the file/folder. You can also organize, delete, and create new folders from within the application.

Microsoft just rolled out the SkyDrive App so it may take a few hours before it becomes available in all Countries/Regions. If SkyDrive is available in your area, let us know what you think in the comments. Once we get a Marketplace link for the SkyDrive App, we'll update the post.

Oh and not to leave our friends who use the iPhone behind, Microsoft has also released a version of the SkyDrive App for iOS.  Should the need arise, you can find the iPhone version here.

source: windowsteamblog  Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

UPDATE: Here's the Windows Phone Marketplace Link for the SkyDrive App.  If you don't see it, the app is still rolling out to the various markets so check back later. 

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It seems that the recent SkyDrive upgrade is now causing some issues with SkyDrive and OneNote users on their Windows Phone when synchronizing documents and notes between the cloud and a handset (check out our howto for more information). Users are reportedly met by errors stating that the document and/or note is not available on the server.

Rest assured that your content has not been lost. All that's required is to reset Office on Windows Phone, which will wipe locally stored files and clear pinned items. Check out the following steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to the Applications pivot
  3. Select Office
  4. Press the Reset Office button (if you get a message that Office could not be reset, reboot your phone and try again)

Source: Windows Live Blog, Live Help

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Back in early September, LiveSide ran a story about the recent SkyDrive update. Specifically, Wave 5 was to offer a hefty helping of unlimited storage for your photos and Office documents that you've stashed away. The idea seemed reasonable, after all they were limiting it to specific media types, so why not?

Well, it turns out the SkyDrive team is not so confident in that new feature. When asked about it directly on Twitter they said flat out that's it is a rumor:

"We don't offer unlimited photos and docs. Unless it came from our official blog, it's a rumor."

Okay, we suppose we can angle it that they never said it wasn't coming later on. But at least for now that terse wording is leading us to believe that this whole idea of unlimited storage for pics and docs just ain't true. Maybe next time? For now, you'll just have to suffer with your free 25GB of storage. /sarcasm

Source: @SkyDrive; Thanks, Edwin, for the tip!

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SkyDrive, the Windows Live file hosting/sharing service, is set to receive a fairly major upgrade today, which will introduce a number of requested features. It's now much easier to manage office documents and other files on an account thanks to the ability to set permissions or share individual files within a folder. Not only that, but the team have now made it possible for files to be shared to social networks and for private links to be generated that can be shared with select personnel.

Multiple selections can be made to move, download or delete more than one folder. Folders can be created (and renamed) inline without having to click in multiple locations. Uploading to SkyDrive has also been improved by taking advantage of the HTML5 File API and now users can simply drag files and photos into the web browser window and onto the file listing. A upload overlay will then be display at the bottom right hand corner of the screen allowing the user to continue using the service.

 

As well as the above, support has been added for PDF and RAW file types, the photo slide show has been improved, and signing into SkyDrive is now more efficient (up to 50% faster). Check out more information on the SkyDrive blog (link below) with more screenshots. Unfortunately, still no more word on a Windows Phone app or more integration with the OS.

Source: Windows Live Blog

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SkyDrive to get unlimited storage

Here's some interesting news surrounding SkyDrive. The growing service has seen increased usage through Windows Phone, Office and soon-to-be apps for iOS and Android. Microsoft have been continuously pushing it to rival competitive storage solutions and are now reported to be planning unlimited storage.

Before we all lose our minds with the whole "OMGWTFBBQ?!" emotion, let's take a quick gander at the proposed storage features:

  • Unlimited storage space for all Office documents
  • Unlimited storage space for all photos
  • 25 GB of free storage for everything else

What's good? Unlimited storage for Office documentation and photos taken on our Windows Phone handsets, but unfortunately we'll have capped space for music and all other files. Still, 25GB worth of storage is more than what the average user requires. With apps for OS X, iOS and Android as well as native integration with Windows and WP I can see myself converting along with many more.

This may also confirm the integration of the 5GB "SkyDrive synced storage" for Windows Live Mesh with SkyDrive for devices added to accounts. We'll have to see when the roll out happens.

Source: LiveSide

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SkyDrive mobile apps on the way?

Microsoft's free cloud storage solution was recently updated with a UI refresh and a number of improvements and features included. We've now discovered that clients for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, OS X and Android are currently in development. We've heard from readers that a more feature-rich SkyDrive solution is greatly desired so this is welcoming news for many.  Even Molly Wood pointed this out in her Windows Phone Challenge verdict.

As well as a Windows Phone app, LiveSide has reportedly learnt of greater plans Microsoft has for SkyDrive, one feature being device integration. According to the report SkyDrive will allow users to access and view files synchronised from each device via a single interface at skydrive.live.com. Devices added to Windows Live will be displayed under a section titled "Devices" in the SkyDrive navigation (below "Groups"), enabling a single location for access to all the files stored on the cloud.

What's unclear still is whether devices added to Windows Live will be able to use the free 25GB of storage offered in SkyDrive, or if they will be stuck with the 5GB "SkyDrive synced storage" for Windows Live Mesh. All in all, good news all around.

Via: LiveSide

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SkyDrive Player - not great, but not bad either

We know there's a lot of SkyDrive users out there always looking for new ways to utilize the free storage service. A new freeware app in the Marketplace looks to augment that by allowing you to effortlessly and easily play music from your SkyDrive to your phone. Sounds pretty good to us but alas the initial version is a work in progress. Still, for what it is, what it costs and where it's going, you may want to pick it up or at least watch for updates. From the app description, written in some broken English:

"SkyDrive Player is music player with Sky Drive. At first, upload to SkyDrive which your a lot of music data. then you can download/listen music anytime. this app save your Windows Phone data space. Notice: when uninstall this app. clear downloaded files too. First version of SkyDrive Player is very simple functions. please feedback about this app."

This app tested Media type

  • [.mp3]
  • Up to 320 Kbps
  • Constant or variable bit rate
  • Up to 48 kHz
  • 1 or 2 channels

Next version plans...

  • Supports multiple Live ID.
  • Supports PlayLists.

Notice

  • Not supports download resume. please not switch to other apps when downloading.
  • Not supports streaming play. please wait for finish download file.
  • Not supports read mp3 additional data(artwoks. artists and more)

So the big deal here is that it doesn't actually stream music--at least not yet. In short, you have to "download" the track first and then play it, which is not very exciting. It does "save" the music files, siloed within the app itself so you can play it anytime without re-downloading--that's not half bad. And it is a way to quickly share music with yourself or others, though it looks impossible to then bring that music into Zune. Still, it's a neat idea and like we said, we're curious as to where this can go in the future, plus we imagine a few of you have some ideas on how to use this freebie. Perhaps this developer or someone else will pick up the ability to stream from SkyDrive within Mango and do an app to make the process more simple an elegant.

Grab SkyDrive player here in the Marketplace.

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This is pretty cool, the above video shows Manan demoing a newly enabled feature in IE9 using SkyDrive - music streaming. The playback is thanks to IE9 in the latest build of Mango (7712), but it's a start and hopefully we will see further development into cloud streaming with SkyDrive to include media player features. Integrating this feature into Music + Video hub would make sense.

Our George Ponder, last month, covered a response by Mike Torres, a Microsoft's Group Program Manager for SkyDrive, to a reader on the Windows Team Blog:

"With MP3s, the Office hub won't stream your MP3s, no."

What's interesting to note is that he's still right. While OfficeHub seems as though it sports music playback, it's actually opening up your SkyDrive in IE9 for the streaming to begin. What do you guys make of this, and where do you see the development going?

Source: Being Manan, via: LiveSide

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Live ID WP7 app integration [Developers]

An in-depth article has been published over at BuildMobile, which covers how Windows Live ID can be integrated into a Windows Phone application. The app will then be able to gain access to the user's contacts, profile detail, information from Messenger and SkyDrive, and everything else that's available via the Messenger Connect API.

What should be noted (as mentioned in the article) is that a Live ID is required, much like Facebook Connect and Twitter requiring accounts. You wont be able to transfer an app from one Live ID to another, so if you are creating an app with a Live ID account, you may wish to use an ID specifically made for the app, especially if you plan to sell the app, have multiple developers working, etc.

As well as following the steps and reading up on the detail, more information can be found over at the Windows Live Developer Portal and in the Messenger Connect documentation

Source: BuildMobile

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