By Daniel B. Kline
Available on: iPhone, Windows Phone, Android
Should you get it?: Yes, if your main computer is a PC.
Microsoft and Apple have worked together at various points, but it's usually a union full of mistrust.
In the past - before the iPod, iPhone, and iPad - Apple needed Microsoft. But in recent years, Microsoft has fallen behind its hipper competitor. Neither Microsoft nor Apple has ever seemed to want to work together. Even when Microsoft creates a version of its Office software for Mac users, both sides seem a little disgusted to need each other.
SkyDrive, however, is Microsoft admitting that some people will use Windows-based PCs, but refuse to adopt Windows phones or the Surface Tablet. Instead, these users will embrace Apple iOS or Android-powered products.
A few years ago, Microsoft would have made it hard on those users, forcing them to find workarounds to move their files between operating systems. SkyDrive, the generic name for Microsoft’s cloud-based storage product, shows that those times have changed and that the Windows-maker understands that it must allow users easy access to their files even on devices running competing operating systems.
The SkyDrive app (tested on an iPhone 4S) allows easy access to stored Windows files. In my case, the files were mostly Word documents created on a Microsoft Surface RT and pictures taken on a Windows phone. The SkyDrive app made those files readily available on my iPhone in a basic, easy-to-understand file folder structure.
Unfortunately, available is all that they were as the SkyDrive app does not offer the Web-based editing services the Web version of the product offers. To edit a Word or Excel document through the app, iPhone users must also have an app that allows for editing that file type. And even though there are lots of options for apps that allow for that, not having basic in-app editing tools in the SkyDrive app is disappointing.
Of course, Windows phones come pre-installed with a mobile version of Office, so this won't be a problem if you are one of the few who have one. Still, the SkyDrive app lets you read documents or forward them to another device – not perfect, but still useful. And if you have any of the apps that let you open Office files in iOS, you'll have full editing access and SkyDrive becomes an even better product.