When Windows Phone 7 was released I made a point of outlining my fury at the lack of SkyDrive integration. I mean, Microsoft so generously give you 25GB of free online storage with Windows Live, and then don’t let you do much with it on the go. It’s frustrating, but now they’ve gone at least some way to rectifying that, not with SkyDrive, but with Windows Home Server, the new version, ‘Vail’.
Any users of Vail will soon be able to download a mobile app called ‘My Server’ which essentially lets you access the media on your home server on the go and stream it to your Windows Phone 7 handset.
Not only that, the app gives you a great example of how the metro UI should be done, and categorises your media into videos, music, pictures etc. so you can browse through your collection as you would locally through the music+video and picture hubs on the phone.
Microsoft demoed the app with a series of screenshots on the Windows Team blog, and if that’s anything to go by, set up looks pretty simple and aesthetically, it’s outstanding.
Now, I don’t use Windows Home Server, never have and might never do, but I have to respect the job they appear to have done of this, as it would have been so easy for them to simply let you browse folders etc. without providing any real functionality. But here you can access playlists, artists, collections, albums all from your home PC in an intuitive layout. Songs will play continuously, rather than forcing you to open each file individually as you would on a simple online storage app, such as DropBox.
Not only that, you’ll be able to upload media too, stuff that you collect whilst on the go, as well as transferring pictures to your Facebook, Windows Live or SkyDrive account as you can with pictures stored on the phone itself, perhaps taken by the camera.
Now, if only they’ll implement the same thing to SkyDrive, we’d all be happy and I could leave my music collection in the cloud safe in the knowledge that the complete lack of SD card in my Samsung Omnia 7 has no impact on the amount of media I can access. The meagre 8GB capacity provided on the European version just isn’t enough and with no options to expand, it’s criminal that no cloud access is provided. It’s not just that they have no implementation like this, there’s none at all. Currently, I have SkyDrive saved as a favourite in my browser, and that just ain’t gonna cut it.
Oh, and before you ask, I don’t think there’s any plans to launch the same app on iOS and Android. I know how much more popular desktop Windows is than phone Windows, and it seems silly to restrict the user base so much, but there’s just no word on it right now, but we’ll keep you updated if anything changes.
Source: The Windows Blog