Microsoft Upgrades OneDrive's Photo-Handling Abilities

Microsoft is adding new photo-centric features to its cloud storage service, including new automatic albums, and yes, even Pokémon-detection capabilities.

Microsoft OneDrive Photos, Pokemon Go

OneDrive is rolling out new photo management features across the cloud-based file sync and sharing service's mobile apps and Web experience. Among them are new automatic albums that organize photos without user intervention.

"OneDrive detects whenever you take a few photos in a short period of time, in a particular location. The highest quality photos are then selected and put into an album," Douglas Pearce, a group program manager at Microsoft OneDrive, stated in a July 22 announcement. "You are even notified when they're ready to view and share on, in our mobile apps or via the Windows 10 Photos app."

Taking things a step further, each Monday morning, OneDrive will commemorate weekends by creating albums based on photos taken on Saturday and Sundays. Along those lines, Microsoft is also rolling out a feature that will allow users to virtually turn back time.

The new On This Day view in the All Photos page uses a timeline-based interface to help users explore memorable events from their past. The All Photos page also gains an improved search function that supports emojis and can find images based on their tags and the locations they were taken.

Other updates include a dedicated view for photos folders that features larger thumbnails, a big header image and revised menu for a more intuitive photo-management experience. On Windows 10, the built-in Photos app features OneDrive integration. When users sign in to their Windows 10 systems using their Microsoft accounts, OneDrive will populate the Photos app with all of the photos and albums stored on the service.

Finally, OneDrive has also been struck by Pokémon Go fever.

"A lot of players take screenshots of their captured Pokémon to show off to their friends—both digitally and in person. We had to make it easier for you to find all your Pokémon screenshots, so we went to work and partnered with Microsoft Research to bring a Pokémon detector to OneDrive," Pearce stated.

If the camera upload feature is turned on, Pokémon Go screenshots are automatically saved to OneDrive. The service's image-recognition tech then identifies and categorizes each of 150 available Pokémon, allowing users to search or view them by name.

OneDrive isn't the only Microsoft offering to succumb to the Pokémon Go craze. Recently, an interactive report containing details on all of the monsters available in the augmented-reality game was published on Power BI, the company's cloud based business intelligence and data visualization platform.

Since its launch earlier this month, Pokémon Go quickly rocketed to the top of the charts. The game, which encourages users to go out into the real world to capture virtual critters and do battle with them, has not only captured the attention of millions of players worldwide, but also security watchers. In addition to privacy concerns, computer security researchers are warning businesses about the dangers posed by Android devices containing malware that preys on unsuspecting users eager to get their hands on the app.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...