Despite having its own wearable on the market with the Microsoft Band, Microsoft will support the Apple Watch, it appears. The company recently rolled out an update to the iOS app for OneDrive, its cloud storage service, which will now allow Apple Watch owners to view their photos saved in OneDrive right from their wrist using Apple’s new smartwatch. This added feature makes OneDrive the first of Microsoft’s numerous iOS applications to support the watch.
Explains Microsoft in the App Store update text, from the Apple Watch, OneDrive users will be able to view their most recent photos and delete those they don’t want to keep, view their albums, as well as locate photos by tag – all from the Apple Watch’s small screen.
Of course, it’s unclear at this time whether or not Apple Watch owners will actually be interested in viewing photos from their wrist – after all, the smartphone in their pocket will still offer a better experience for this sort of activity. But that hasn’t stopped companies from rolling out Apple Watch support for their photo apps. Instagram, for example, was one of the initial third-party applications Apple showed off during the Apple Watch event in Cupertino in March, and its new Apple Watch app will mark the first time the company has embraced a wearable device of any sort – having yet to launch apps for Google’s smartwatches or Google Glass, previously.
It’s not all that surprising to see Microsoft, too, embracing the Apple Watch platform. Though Microsoft and Apple have historically been fierce rivals, Microsoft’s strategy under CEO Satya Nadella has seen the company developing versions of its most popular products and services for competing mobile platforms, including iOS and Android. The company debuted Office for iOS last year, as well as Outlook for iOS and Android, various MSN properties, and more. It now has over 100 iOS and Android applications in total, including those that are more experimental in nature, like its Android lockscreen apps from Microsoft Garage.
With Apple Watch support now under its belt, Microsoft is again proving that it’s truly working to be a cross-platform player in this new mobile landscape, as opposed to one that promotes its own platform and services to the exclusion of others.
The addition of OneDrive to Apple Watch is interesting for another reason, as well, because it means that Microsoft has beaten Google in bringing its cloud storage service to Apple Watch. Though Google has iOS versions of nearly all its major apps and services, including Gmail, Drive, Maps, and more, the company has been quiet about whether or not it has Apple Watch apps in the works. Instead, its current plans in this space are reportedly focused on bringing Android Wear support to iOS owners, rather than Google apps to Apple Watch owners.