OneDrive update makes it easier to see who’s tinkering with your docs
Microsoft has introduced a number of small but solid improvements to its cloud storage platform, OneDrive. The features centre around making the service better for groups to use without treading on each others’ toes, which can only be a good thing.
First up: notifications. If someone edits a document you’ve shared, you can now get an alert to your mobile, or even to your wrist if you’re wearing an Apple Watch. The push notifications work on iOS, Android and Windows Phone, and should be just the ticket for control freaks wanting to keep track of every comma changed and line removed.
If all that sounds a bit much, Microsoft also plans to send its OneDrive users an email each day, containing a quick summary of who has been tinkering with what. The thinking is that this will not only provide a good summary for people irritated by constant notifications, but can also help spot unusual behaviour at a glance.
Second, OneDrive has taken a big step to bring it closer in line with the likes of Google Drive and Dropbox by allowing users to sync shared folders with their computers. This works for both personal and business users, and can be done via an “Add to my OneDrive” button. This reportedly works on Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista, and OS X 10 -–but oddly, users of Windows 8.1 will have to rush their Windows 10 upgrade in order to benefit.
On paper, the final update sounds the most mundane, but it may be the most useful of all: the ability to search within documents has been expanded to files shared with you as well as your own. As Jason Moore, group program manager of OneDrive puts it: “We extended these features to shared items because while users often remember the filename and location of items they’ve created themselves, they frequently remember shared files by their contents.” As someone who often finds himself remembering interesting stuff he read weeks ago, but with no idea how to find it again, I welcome this kind of development.
The update should be live now, but given the scale of the rollout, it may take a little while before everyone can benefit from the new features.