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Echoing an update from a year and a half ago, Microsoft today announced several new OneDrive features, all related to photos. The service is getting automatic albums, tighter integration with the Windows 10 Photos app, an “On this day” view, a photo folders view, improved search, and a Pokémon detector.
Automatic albums is probably the most handy addition, and reminds us of Google Photos. OneDrive now detects when you took a few photos in a short period of time and in a particular location. The highest quality photos are selected and put into an album, and you get a notification when they’re ready to view and share. Automatic albums appear on OneDrive.com, in OneDrive’s mobile apps, and in the Windows 10 Photos app.
Speaking of the Windows 10 Photos app, you can now expect tighter integration with OneDrive. When you sign into Windows 10 with your Microsoft account, all of your OneDrive photos will now show up. You can also use the app to upload local albums to OneDrive.
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The OneDrive.com website has gained a new “On this day” view in your All photos page. As the name implies, this view shows images you took over the years on that same day.
Another view is the one dedicated to your folders that have a lot of photos in them. The new photos view includes a hero image, larger thumbnails, and a revised menu to help you quickly create an album or share photos.
Search now works directly in the All photos view, understands photos that have been tagged, photos from a specific location, and even supports using emojis. These new types of searches work on OneDrive.com as well as the OneDrive mobile apps.
Last but not least, Microsoft is jumping on the Pokémon Go bandwagon. If you take screenshots of your captured Pokémon, you’ll want to have the OneDrive mobile app installed. Thanks to some Microsoft Research technology, as long as you have camera upload turned on, the app will save your screenshots and identify all 150 Pokémon for you. You can then view and search for the Pokémon right in OneDrive.
Updates like this one are a great reminder that competition in the cloud storage space is still fierce. And yet, no matter how many useful features Microsoft adds, it will continue to face an uphill battle because of its failures in mobile.
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