OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud-based file sync and storage service, now offers Apple device users new, more intuitive ways of managing and organizing their files.
A new version of the OneDrive for Business iOS app, released on Jan. 28, dispenses with the need to install and bounce between two apps to view and share their business and personal files. In addition to new photo-centric features for shutterbugs, the app now strikes a better work-life balance, according to OneDrive Group Program Manager Jason Moore.
The updated app "now allows you to connect to one or more OneDrive for Business accounts," announced Moore in a OneDrive Blog post. "Previously we have shipped 2 separate apps—one for your personal files and one for business files—now you can do this all within the one app."
OneDrive for Business makes it easier to search and share content, access recent files and recover recently deleted items, he added. "For iOS users this delivers a single mobile experience to truly manage everything in your life."
Microsoft's new bottomless cloud storage offerings may put those claims to the test. In late October, the company announced that customers of its Office Home, Personal and University plans would be entitled to unlimited OneDrive cloud storage, with OneDrive for Business customers to follow in 2015.
"While unlimited storage is another important milestone for OneDrive we believe the true value of cloud storage is only realized when it is tightly integrated with the tools people use to communicate, create, and collaborate, both personally and professionally," said Chris Jones, corporate vice president of Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint, in an Oct. 27 statement.
Administrators needn't worry that Microsoft's new personalized approach will compromise security, assured Moore. "For IT, the business files are still secured, managed and covered by the enterprise-grade security, compliance and control from Office 365."
Microsoft is focused on striking a balance between the often-competing goals of delivering consumerlike mobile experiences while maintaining fine-grained IT manageability and control, according to Rueben Krippner, director of OneDrive for Business. "We want to make sure that end users love the solutions that they're working with, but we also want to make sure that IT can secure and manage these devices as they need to," he said in a YouTube video, signaling that Apple's devices and user base are no longer an afterthought in the company's development efforts.
OneDrive for Business integrates more seamlessly with the company's ecosystem of mobile device management and compliance solutions, with features like expanded file- and user-level auditing, for instance. Krippner added that his company's "commitment to security, compliance [and] IT control is unwavering."
On the Mac front, Microsoft is delivering on a highly requested feature.
After receiving "feedback from Mac users wanting to be able to access and take their OneDrive for Business files offline" the company released a public preview of a new Mac sync client. "It provides a simple and secure way for you to manage and sync your files through the familiar Mac Finder experience."