Microsoft provides free online storage and a free app to access it from your mobile phone, and it now has even more features than ever. See what’s new in the updated app for the iPhone.
If you can ignore the occasional plug for Office 365, the OneDrive app is a great way to use the free cloud storage that Microsoft provides. New users receive 5GB of space for free, but if you have been with the service for a long time, you could have earned many times this.
Upgrading to 50GB costs $1.99 a month and with an Office 365 subscription up to 5TB is available. I have managed to get 40GB free by signing up for various offers over the years.
Drag and drop: Moving files around is easier with drag and drop. Long press on a file and then drag it to a folder. Let the folder open and then drop the file to move it.
According to Microsoft it should be possible to drag and drop to other apps. I could not work out how to do this, but perhaps it only works on the latest iOS devices. You can open files in other apps using the file menu though.
File/folder menu: At the right side of files and folders is a three dots icon and tapping it opens a menu listing the actions that can be performed. A file can be sent to another app, so a photo on OneDrive for example, could be sent to Notes, which creates a new note and enables text to be added.
Sharing: A file or folder can be shared by tapping the three dots menu and selecting Share. The usual iOS sharing options are available, but you can also invite specific people, allow or prevent editing and allow public access or require logging in to a Microsoft account (OneDrive, Outlook and so on.
Shared folders have a small icon in the corner to indicate that they are shared. It makes it easier to see at a glance which items are shared. When a folder is open the shared icon appears in the title bar.
The iPad screen is larger than the iPhone’s and the extra space enables a Sharing column when using the text file listing. You can look down the file list and see a ‘Shared’ label next to files that are shared. Another iPad improvement is a single column file listing, which used to be multicolumn at one time. Now it is clearer.
Open the Apple Files app to access iCloud files and you can also access files on OneDrive from within it. Tap the Browse button in Files, press OneDrive, and all your files can be seen.
Long press on a file to get a menu and select Move or Copy. You can then navigate back to iCloud storage and long press to paste it in. Files on iCloud can also be copied and pasted or moved to OneDrive. This makes it easy to put files where they are needed.
The Shared icon in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen enables you to see the files you share with others and the files they share with you.
A Recents button at the bottom shows the files that have been recently accessed.
The only minor irritation is that when renaming files you cannot edit the name, you must type in the whole filename again.
The whole app looks a lot better than it used to and it is cleaner and easier to use. The Me button in the bottom right corner shows your storage usage, you can see a list of files you have made available offline, view the contents of the Recycle Bin to recover deleted files you discover you need after all, and access settings.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 07 February 2018