Microsoft just made it easier to use OneDrive in mobile apps

Not to be outdone by competing services such as iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox and the like, Microsoft is pushing OneDrive for mobile app developers. The company on Tuesday introduced a new OneDrive API that supports software on Android, iOS, Windows and the web.


This means developers have a simple method to add OneDrive into their apps, allowing for application data to be stored to or synchronized with Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud service: “It only takes a few lines of code to set up a basic integration with our Android Picker/Saver SDK and our iOS DocumentPicker contract support,” the company said in its blog post. Users of such apps, then, will have another cloud storage option available to them in-app.

[company]Microsoft[/company] said it is using the OneDrive API in some of its own mobile apps, and developers will have access to the same code.

As new features are added to the API, Microsoft will share them so that everyone using the API is building on the same platform. Among the first highlighted features for people who make apps: Efficient management of the change of files or folders on OneDrive through an app; resumable file uploads up to 10GB in size; and custom file thumbnail images.

There comes a point when it is not just about storage space

Is the difference between cloud storage provides about free space? In a word, no. I wrote about the cloud storage wars and potential bubble here:

The cloud storage wars heat up

4 reasons cloud storage is not a bubble about to pop

Each of the providers is doing their part to drive value into their respective solutions. To some, value includes the amount of ‘free’ disk space included. Just today, Microsoft upped the ante by offering unlimited free space for their OneDrive and OneDrive for Business solutions.

Is there value in the amount of free space? Maybe, but only to a point. Once they offer an amount above the normal needs (or unlimited), the value becomes a null. I do not have statistics, but would hazard a venture that ‘unlimited’ is more marketing leverage where most users only consume less than 50GB each.

Looking beyond free space

Once a provider offers unlimited storage, one needs to look at the feature/ functionality of the solution. Not all solutions are built the same nor offer similar levels. Enterprise features, integration, ease of use and mobile access are just a few of the differentiators. Even with unlimited storage, if the solution does not offer the feature you need, storage value is greatly diminished.

The big picture

For most, cloud storage is about replacing a current solution. On the surface the amount of free storage is a quick pickup. However, the real issue is in the compatibility and value beyond just the amount of free storage. Does the solution integrate with existing solutions? How broad is their ecosystem? What about Single Sign On (SSO) support? How much work will it take to implement and train users? These are just a few of the factors that must be considered.