SkyDrive is now available as a native Android app, bringing Microsoft's cloud storage and file-syncing capabilities to a host of new users. Very much like Google Drive or Dropbox, SkyDrive lets you store files in the cloud on Microsoft's servers, so you can access them from anywhere, on any of your devices, regardless of the platform they're running. It also lets you share documents with collaborators and view documents that have been shared with you. The app is free to download, and users with Microsoft accounts get 7GB of free storage to start.
Open up SkyDrive, and you'll see a sleek, tiled, Windows 8-style interface. The Home screen shows all of your files and folders, while your basic controls sit up top (or down below, depending on the orientation of your device). The navigation buttons let you toggle between Tile and List mode, upload a file, create a new folder, and refresh. Tap one or more items to pull up more options, like Delete, Share, Download, and Export. The Share button sends a link out, so a friend can view the file straight from your SkyDrive, while the Export button lets you send the actual file via Gmail, attach it to a Facebook post, pin it to a Pinterest board, and more.
The SkyDrive app also makes it easy to upload files from your mobile device to your account. Right from the SkyDrive interface, you can use the Upload button to send videos or photos to the cloud. Or, if you navigate to a file anywhere on your device, you can use Android's Share command to upload it. What the app can't do, however, is move files around between folders on your SkyDrive. So, if you need to do some housekeeping, it's probably a better idea to do so through a browser, as the app can only delete and create new folders.
Probably the biggest omission from SkyDrive is a built-in interface for editing Office files. While Google Drive comes loaded with a dash of Google Docs functionality, SkyDrive merely houses your Office files. If you want to edit your files, you can download them locally, then use a third-party app. But if you do this, your changes will only affect the downloaded files, and not those saved in your SkyDrive. In future iterations, I would love to see basic viewing and editing functions for documents built into SkyDrive, so changes can sync automatically. Also, it would be nice to be able to protect the SkyDrive app with a password or other security feature.
While the SkyDrive app does look nice, it still has a ways to go in terms of functionality. Before we can give it high marks, we'd love to see password protection, a way to move files around within your drive, and of course, a built-in way to edit Office documents.