SkyDrive Browser: Unofficial Dual-Pane SkyDrive Client For Android

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).

SkyDrive-Browser-Android-Home-PortraitSkyDrive-Browser-Android-Login

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.

SkyDrive-Browser-Android-Home-Landscape

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).

SkyDrive-Browser-Android-BatchSkyDrive-Browser-Android-Settings

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).

Download SkyDrive Browser for Android

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  • http://www.greggdeselms.com/ Gregg L. DesElms

    I can’t remember if it was on this site, or another, that I was recently complaining about how Android users got left out of Microsoft’s recent release of a Skydrive client. So I’m obviously happy to see this.

    However, it appears that the split screen is an impediment on smartphones, whose screens tend to be just too small for such things.  I’m sure it’s better on a tablet sort of Android device; and I’m guessing that someone who’s really committed to making it work on a small smartphone screen could, indeed make it happen.

    But, if the developer is reading this, I’m thinking that the split screen should be optional… something which can be controlled in the settings.  This, of course, may change the whole way the app behaves, and so it’s possible, as other app makers have learned, that you’ll have to offer a smartphone version, and a tablet version.  Just because they share a common OS doesn’t necessarily mean that they should share the same interface.  If THAT were true, then the Win7 smartphone interface would be the same as the Win7 interface on a desktop/laptop PC… and we KNOW that that’s not happening (though, sadly, it’s looking more and more like that’s what Microsoft wants to do with Win8… but that’s a rant for another day).

    Just tryin’ to help!

    _________________________________________-
    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    • Copacetic Geek

      In the settings it is possible to change to tabbed browsing, which I believe is a lot more useful on a smartphone.

      • Anonymous

        No. As it is quite evident from the very last screenshot, there is apparently no support for tabbed browsing. All you can do is toggle between list or grid view for your local and cloud files, and/or sort content in a handful of ways from the app’s settings screen.

  • Bruce

    So I can’t login any reason why?  Go to menu -> Login… Nothing Happens?
    Wish it would seems like a handy app

  • nguyen2011

    X-plore File Manager is 10 times better than any skydrive app recommended by Microsoft. It integrate all of popular cloud storage, lan, sdcard, system root.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1396871593 King OfKings

    Not all file types are supported, for example it can’t upload .xml files

  • Guest

    Perhaps I am the dumbest person on the planet, but I would really like to find instructions on how to use this app. All I want to do is pull down some files from skydrive and put them in my music directory on my android phone. I can get the files marked and hit the download arrow on the skydrive side and can’t figure out what to do then. I tried drag and drop which didn’t work. Is there a how-to on this somewhere that gives more than “this button does this” type of instruction.