OneDrive major updates, including SharePoint Online sync preview announced at Ignite

Microsoft announced major updates to OneDrive for Office 365 customers at Ignite 2016 today. The cloud storage service is getting more integrated with Sharepoint Online as well as several new capabilities when used on a web browser or a mobile device. Additionally, IT Pros will be pleased to learn that Microsoft has built in more features to secure and manage OneDrive content. Let’s dive into the details below.

New sync capabilities

On Windows PCs and Macs, The OneDrive desktop sync client already supports both OneDrive for consumers and OneDrive for Business (which requires an Office 365 business subscription). On both platforms, the sync client is now getting Sharepoint sync as well in a public preview available today. Overall, the new client should deliver a unified sync experience with the ability to sync SharePoint Online document libraries as well as OneDrive folders shared with you, and there is also a new activity center to see at a glance recent changes to your files. You can download the new client over here.

A new single sync experience.

A new single sync experience.

The activity center.

The activity center.

New browser capabilities

On the web, OneDrive is now able to display rich previews for most commonly used business file types including Adobe files, including Illustrator (.ai), Photoshop (.psd), email files (.msg and .eml), pictures in RAW formats and more. “We’re continuously building support for new file types, creating better previews and increasing coverage for thumbnails,” the company explained in the blog post. Moreover, the Office team has also enabled downloading multiple files as a .zip file.

Better previews and thumbnails.

Better previews and thumbnails.

Additionally, Office 365 business users will soon be able to use OneDrive on the web to edit and share all the files and folders that they own or follow in SharePoint Online. This new experience will roll out first to First Release customers « in the coming months » before becoming accessible to all customers in the first quarter of 2017.

New mobile capabilities

Microsoft is also bringing several new features to the OneDrive app on iOS and Android devices today:

  • The app will now push a notification to your device when a colleague has shared a file with you, and you’ll be able to open the file right from the notification. The Office team also added that it’s working to bring notifications to Windows as well expanding them to other file activities.
  • On Android devices, the scan feature has been updated to allow you to snap multiple photos and combine them in a single PDF file. The feature will be enabled on iOS devices « in the coming weeks. »
  • On iOS devices, the OneDrive app can now tell you how many people from your team have discovered and viewed the files that you shared from OneDrive to Sharepoint. This feature will become available on Android and Windows in the future, the team said.
Measure the reach of your files on the iOS app.

Measure the reach of your files on the iOS app.

New Office 2016 capabilities

The Office 2016 apps will soon allow users to easily share files with their colleagues, see the history of all activity on a file as well as quickly start a Skype for Business conversation with users who are currently editing a file. Moreover, clicking the File tab to open a file will display all recent files from OneDrive and SharePoint Online plus files recently shared with you. All these features will roll out first to First Release customers.

OneDrive will be more deeply integrated to the Office apps.

OneDrive will be more deeply integrated to the Office apps.

New IT capabilities

The Office team will soon roll out a more flexible OneDrive user management in Office 365. “As an admin, you will be able to set the storage quota and external sharing permissions for a specific user, as well as help a user who misplaced a file or inadvertently shared the wrong file with others,” explains the blog post. These improvements are available today in First Release.

New features for IT to secure and manage OneDrive.

New features for IT to secure and manage OneDrive.

Lastly, Microsoft plans to roll out a dedicated OneDrive administration console for OneDrive in the Office 365 Admin Center before the end of 2016. “You’ll have one place to discover and configure OneDrive-specific settings and perform administrative tasks—many of which used to require PowerShell,” the team explained in the blog post.

We invite you to watch the video to get started with the new sync, browser, mobile and IT capabilities for OneDrive. Let us know in the comments if you think these new additions will make it easier for Office 365 customers to manage their files stored in the Microsoft cloud.

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