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SkyDrive API: Build Apps on any Platform Including the iOS, Mac, Windows and Android

Following, April 24th launch of an update to SkyDrive for both Windows and Mac, as well as for iOS and Windows Phone — Microsoft talks how developers using the SkyDrive API, can add SkyDrive support to their apps on any platform.

“Given our recent announcements, we wanted to reiterate how developers can integrate SkyDrive into their apps and devices, showcase a few of our favorite integrations and let people know about a few developer events we are sponsoring in Amsterdam, NYC and Las Vegas,” posted Dare Obasanjo on Windows blog.

Android developers can use the Live SDK for Android to build mobile and tablet apps that provide access to a user’s documents and photos in SkyDrive. “The SDK supports Android versions 2.2 (Froyo) to 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich),” informs Obasanjo. “Browser for SkyDrive is one of our most popular SkyDrive apps on Android,” he said.

SkyDrive Live SDK for Android

Desktop apps (Windows or Mac)
Not only is there SkyDrive for Android, iPhone, and the iPad, but also for Windows. Users can “cloud-enable their desktop apps” since the SkyDrive folder looks like a regular folder on the file system. This opens up literally millions of new possibilities for users.

In some cases, a desktop app may want to integrate directly with SkyDrive, without relying on the user having SkyDrive installed. For example, the SkyDrive gadget for Xobni brings powerful cloud-based sharing to Outlook, making it easy to share large files with email recipients without worrying about large file size limitations.

iOS app developers can use Live SDK for iOS to build an iOS app that will store items on SkyDrive. In addition to the SkyDrive for iPhone and iPad, SkyDrive customers can also use any iPhone or iPad apps that use SDK for iOS to integrate with SkyDrive. The SDK supports development using Xcode 4.1 on Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Xcode 4.2 on Mac OS X Lion.

For example, SkyDrive app DotScan, which allows scanning of documents via an iPhone, only to have it stored automatically on SkyDrive for later use.

SkyDrive DotScan app for iOS

Mobile Devices
“Not only developers” but some of the biggest Android OEMs like HTC have also already built SkyDrive right into their phones. HTC’s newest 4.0 devices such as the HTC One X come with SkyDrive, letting you seamlessly work with your SkyDrive photos and documents from their native Mail, Gallery, and Polaris Office experiences. Samsung’s new line of WiFi enabled SMART cameras (Amazon) enables users to never lose their valuable memories by uploading pictures to SkyDrive directly from the camera.

SkyDrive OEM Apps from HTC, Amazon, Samsung

Windows Phone apps
Of course, there are a number of Windows Phone apps that support SkyDrive and PC and Mac apps. “Apps such as HandyScan augment SkyDrive’s seamless integration into the Office and Pictures hub on the phone by bringing personal cloud storage to the apps Windows Phone customers use every day,” writes Obasanjo.

Microsoft also launched a new app showcase available from within SkyDrive.com, so users can easily find apps while using the service.


Developers can learn more about the SkyDrive API by visiting dev.live.com. Also, availabe are REST APIs and a JavaScript API for web development.

Finally, responding to compaines own comparison chart of Google Drive vs. SkyDrive vs. Dropbox vs. Apple iCloud — Microsoft says, however these comparisons often neglect one thing.

“Is each provider actually trying to build similar experiences? As we look at the category, we see our approach with SkyDrive is increasingly unique.”

“We don’t think people want another file cloud to manage. They don’t want an app cloud tied to one browser, social network or ad network. They don’t want yet another proprietary device cloud. People want a cloud that seamlessly connects their files to the apps and devices they use every day.

Over a billion people rely on Office apps and their Windows devices every day to create, capture and share from anywhere. That’s why we’re building personal cloud storage for our customers that works seamlessly with Office and Windows.”

So how exactly will SkyDrive let you work seamlessly with Office and Windows from anywhere? Microsoft shows a few videos integrating SkyDrive with other Microsoft products including Windows 8:

  1. Word, Exceland PowerPoint: “With SkyDrive for Windows and Mac, work across web and desktop, online or offline – no conversions, no compromises. You can easily work with documents using the Office apps you love – Word, Excel and PowerPoint – from anywhere without converting between formats or compromising on features ‘unlike other companies’,” Microsoft writes.
  2. OneNote: Use your phone to take notes, record voice clips, scan documents and sync them instantly to SkyDrive. Your stuff is pushed to OneNote 2010 on your PC where you can organize and search – even audio and images. You can share notebooks with your spouse, friends or teams who can use OneNote Web App – free.

  3. Fetch files in Windows: Turn your PC into a private cloud to access any file, not just what’s in the cloud. With “fetch”, SkyDrive works seamlessly with your Windows PC so you can access any file from anywhere. You can even stream videos. Windows transcodes your video automatically to fit your connection.

  4. Windows 8 Consumer Preview: With SkyDrive for Windows, the cloud is another folder on your desktop, and any Windows app that can access the file system can now access SkyDrive. SkyDrive for Windows 8 also brings a seamless cloud experience to new Windows 8 apps. This opens up new possibilities, for example, using SkyDrive together with apps available now in the Windows Store like Mail, Docstoc and Skitch.

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