Monday, 9 February 2015

OneDrive adds subtle new features for better photo experience

New photo album feature in Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft’s service for securely saving your pictures, videos, Office documents, and other files in the cloud, OneDrive, has recently added some subtle new features which lay the foundations for a significantly better photo experience.

For years now, users of OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) have been able to automatically backup their phone’s camera roll to the platform and even manually save photos from their other devices on there. Once the photos are safely stored in the cloud, users are able to share them via a link – however that’s about it.

Meanwhile, Google has a similar service, which does the same, built into Google+. And, once photos are uploaded: magic happens. Google+ photos automatically recognises faces and locations, suggests what filter would look best on individual photos, makes similar photos into animated GIFs, creates photo stories, and automatically enhances every picture. From what was announced at the Windows 10 event during January and from what has been added to OneDrive recently, it looks like things are finally about to improve for OneDrive users… Maybe even to a Google+ standard.

In the recent OneDrive update, every photo added to an album is also displayed under the ‘photos’ menu in reverse chronological order so you can easily find recent snaps. These photos are displayed in a crisp, clean, edge-to-edge page.

Also, any photos uploaded to OneDrive can now be added to a photo album which automatically applies tags to pictures depending on what’s in the frame. The tags, so far, are things like #people, #screenshot, #text which make pictures easier to find photos via search. To search photos you can either use the search bar in OneDrive, or even Bing.

Although this seems like only a baby step as it is unlikely that the new features will be noticed by anyone who doesn’t use OneDrive a lot, it is a step in the right direction for OneDrive. Users have their fingers crossed for better sharing functionality, people tagging, and better editing/enhancing functions to come soon.