4 reasons you'll like Microsoft's new OneDrive

Microsoft's rebranding of its cloud-storage service SkyDrive to OneDrive is more than just a name change. Here are four new features that make the service even better.

More free storage

The point of a cloud storage service, of course, is storage. So more is better. OneDrive now offers more free storage for you, depending on how you use it. If you've got the Android app, it can now automatically back up the photos from your camera. Just enable that feature, and you get an additional 3GB of storage added to SkyDrive's base 7 GB, for a total of 10 GB. And if you're willing to annoy friends, family members, and acquaintances, if you refer any and they sign up for OneDrive, you get 500 MB for each signup. The maximum you can get this way is 5 GB. That means a possible total of 15 GB free storage.

Real-time collaboration

OneDrive integrates with Microsoft's online version of Office, as did SkyDrive, but OneDrive adds true real-time collaboration. Previously, documents could be shared and edited among multiple people, but not simultaneously and seeing each other's edits. OneDrive allows for true real-time collaboration.

Better video sharing

In theory video-sharing via SkyDrive has been great, but in practice it sometimes left something to be desired. That's because video files can be quite sizable, and someone who's streaming one of your shared videos to a mobile phone via a slow 3G connection can have trouble and delays while viewing it. OneDrive very cleverly solves the problem. When someone wants to watch a video you're sharing with OneDrive, OneDrive detects the speed of their connection and encodes the video accordingly, delivering a lower-quality video over slow connections, and higher-quality video over faster connections.

Better Windows Phone app

Yes, I know, not a whole lot of you out there use Windows Phones, but if you do, you'll welcome the new OneDrive app. There are a host of new features, including pinning OneDrive folders to the Start screen, sharing multiple items at the same time, and a new thumbnail view.

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