OneDrive is quickly becoming the one place to store your digital life in the cloud, and today Microsoft is announcing significant improvements on how customers interact with photos. In the update that the company will be rolling out “in the coming weeks” includes new albums, viewing, sharing, management, and search features.
The improvements will come via an update to OneDrive sync app for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
The first improvement is for users running Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. The new update will bring the ability to import automatically photos from their phone, desktop, and inbox. Users will be able to simply connect the device such as a camera, USB drive, or external hard drive, and backup photos automatically to OneDrive. Photos will upload to a new “Camera imports” folder.
Furthermore, OneDrive will let users to save screenshots to the cloud – these images will upload to the new “Screenshots” folder. Basically, hitting the Print Screen button on your keyboard will save the screenshot to the clipboard, but OneDrive will grab and save a copy of the image to the cloud for easy sharing.
Previously, Microsoft added the ability to save attachments directly to OneDrive from Outlook.com. Now, users will also have the ability to save photos attachments received in Outlook.com to OneDrive.
The next update brings Albums, which is a feature that let users easily view, manage, and share photos, very similar to what Windows Insider can currently see in the new Photos apps included with the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview, where Albums are automatically generated, like virtual grouping, that are based on time, location, and event. The best part is that Albums not only work on your desktop, but in the browser, and in the OneDrive mobile app.
This is a shocker. Albums is coming out today and it’s first available in the iOS app, and for Android and Windows Phone will come after.
Microsoft also notes that the OneDrive team has been working close with the Bing and Microsoft Research team to improve search, that way users can more accurately find Office and PDF documents. But the biggest search update will come for photos, as the new search improvements will let users search photos based on time, location, and text that appears inside of the images, as well as based on tags (manually created and those automatically created by OneDrive).
Even more, OneDrive can also recognize automatically content inside photos and then you can search them based on specific keywords, such as “dogs”, “people”, “beach”, etc.
Finally, the software maker is toying with new ways for users to engage and share photos stored in the cloud. One of the experiments is Weekend Recap emails in which OneDrive will look automatically for pictures the users have taken over the weekend and emailing them a nice crafted album that users can view and share with family and friends.