Microsoft has joined up another piece of its Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 puzzle by launching a SkyDrive app for the Xbox 360 — allowing users of its cloud storage service to view and access content via the Xbox. The news was announced in a post on Microsoft’s Inside SkyDrive blog. Microsoft said the app is due to go live later today, noting:” You can expect to see it on your Xbox after 10AM PST.”
The move dissolves a rather odd disconnect between Microsoft’s flagship products — so that SkyDrive content is easily accessible on the Xbox, as well as via Windows Phones, Windows PCs and tablets. (The SkyDrive app does not replace the Xbox Cloud Saved Games cloud storage feature — so there is still arguably room for further service streamlining in future.) Last month Redmond noted that SkyDrive usage had doubled in the past six months.
SkyDrive for Xbox 360 focuses on photo-sharing — defaulting to a photo view, but also enabling other content to be viewed. “Every photo, video, movie, and other file you put in SkyDrive from Windows or the web will be available on your Xbox-connected TV,” Microsoft writes. “Your Windows Phone is also now connected to Xbox and every photo you snap can be available on your TV automatically.”
The app supports Kinect — so you can use Kinect gesture or voice control to view a slideshow of SkyDrive photos, for instance.
Microsoft flagged up three key “scenarios” it envisages the app supporting: sharing your photos and videos on the Xbox-connected big screen; a feature it’s calling ‘Snap and see’ which lets Windows Phone users take a picture on their handset and see it appear “almost immediately” on the camera roll on the Xbox Skydrive app (to do this users need to be using the same Microsoft account signin for Xbox LIVE and Windows Phone); and a third feature — it’s called ‘Party slide show’ — which lets you build a ‘play-list’ of photos to show in the background during your house/dinner party.
Here’s Microsoft’s promo video to announce the SkyDrive Xbox app