While users of WP7 and iOS-powered devices are relishing the arrival of Microsoft’s official SkyDrive client on their respective platforms, Android users have been left out in the cold for now. However, as always, the Andriod dev community is quick to deliver an alternative. SkyDrive Browser is a new, free Android app that lets you access your SkyDrive account. The app replicates most of the features that have been offered by Microsoft in its official SkyDrive clients for iOS and WP7 devices. Not only does the app let you browse and manage all the content stored on your SkyDrive account, it also provides you with an effective mechanism for uploading and download files to/from it (with batch selection support).
Using SkyDrive Browser is as simple as it can get. You must first authorize the app to access your account, of course. To do so, select Menu > Login from the app’s homescreen and provide your Windows Live login credentials.
The app’s main interface is split into two halves, much like a dual-pane file manager. In portrait orientation, the bottom half of your screen displays all the directories and files stored on your device’s internal memory as well as SD card, while the upper half is dedicated to displaying your SkyDrive content. At the bottom of both halves, you have various buttons that let you jump to the previous directory, create a new folder, enable/disable batch selection mode, and delete or upload/download files. Please note that the upload, download and delete buttons work only when batch selection mode is enabled.
Long pressing on a file displays a drop down menu that carries options to upload, download or delete it. Doing the same for a file stored on your SkyDrive cloud reveals a Details button that displays brief information about the file.
Hit Menu to manually refresh the app’s content, switch between landscape & portrait orientation or access Settings. There’s not much to tinker within the app’s settings menu; it just allows you to sort the content in your local or SkyDrive storage by date or alphabetical order (ascending or descending).
Although the app supports uploading and downloading all file types, while uploading audio and a couple of other file formats, it changes their extension to .txt. This is not a big issue as you can easily rename the modified file, but still, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Apart from that, SkyDrive Browser works flawlessly, and is the next best thing to the yet-to-be-released official SkyDrive client for Android (that is, if Microsoft is actually planning to release one).