SkyDrive helps you keep your files always with you, no matter where you are. As part of this promise, we believe it’s important to have tailored experiences on all of the devices that are important to our customers.
So today, we are excited to announce that we are bringing your photos and videos to your TV through Xbox One, starting on November 22 when Xbox One becomes available. SkyDrive on Xbox One provides a seamless, beautiful experience for you to kick back and enjoy photos and videos in your own personal collection, or those shared with you.
The app also takes advantage of exclusive Xbox One features: You can open photo albums from channels in the OneGuide, play music alongside your slideshows with Xbox Music, and control the whole app with gestures and voice, courtesy of Kinect. It all starts with the simple command, “Xbox: Go to SkyDrive.”
SkyDrive is the best way to see your photos and videos on the big screen via Xbox One, made possible via a collaboration between the SkyDrive team and Xbox team. Jeff Henshaw, principal group product manager on the Xbox team, sat down with Larry Larsen from Channel 9 to demo the app.
Simple, fun, automatic.
This app is unlike any other SkyDrive experience we have shipped. Our goal was to bring you a simple, fun experience, so we focused our energy on photos and videos, which look and sound great on your TV.
The first thing we focused on was making it easy to find photos and see them in a slide show. I recently added my whole archive of family photos to SkyDrive—about 40 GB. With this app, I was able to pull up pictures from trips I took years ago but never bothered to dig through my computer to find.
The second key experience we focused on was viewing shared photos and videos. Imagine being able to view cherished photos and videos shared by friends and family—like a musical performance, a kid’s birthday, or a baby’s first steps—on your TV.
The third experience we wanted to work great is what we dubbed “Snap and see.” Every photo I take with my Windows Phone gets automatically uploaded to SkyDrive, so after a day of taking pictures, I can just turn on the TV and show them to my family. I don’t have to think about it or find a cord. It just works great.
Zoom, pan, enhance.
After building the app with the Xbox team, we played around with what was fun and added in cool actions. One example: we added the ability to zoom in to a 4k resolution image of a sports stadium or city landscape. To keep the app snappy, we only download full screen (1080p) thumbnails of the images to show in slide show. But if you are on a large image, you can use the right trigger on the Xbox One controller to zoom in, which downloads a higher resolution version. You can then pan around with the right stick.
We also wanted to make the standard slide show more engaging. Instead of just a simple fade, your photos slide and zoom into view.
A personal cloud and entertainment experience exclusive to Xbox One
The Xbox is an all-in-one games and entertainment device. To help you find content, the Xbox OneGuide is the single source to browse and find live TV, on-demand streaming video from apps, or even your own SkyDrive photos or videos. Apps can plug into the OneGuide platform and show content in the same way you would traditionally read a TV guide.
SkyDrive automatically adds your Pictures folder and the Camera Roll as channels for quick access, but you can also add any folder from the SkyDrive app into the list of app channels. When you select a photo, you are taken directly into a slide show of the picture and the rest of the album. For example, if my friend was on vacation in Hawaii, he could share a photo album with me and I could add it to the OneGuide. Any new pictures he puts in his folder will show up in my app channel. This is a much easier way to get updates than looking through the app.
On the Xbox One, apps can be snapped side by side and run simultaneously, which is especially useful for SkyDrive. You can browse the web in Internet Explorer while playing home videos from your SkyDrive, or look up more information about a particular photo in SkyDrive in Internet Explorer. My favorite combo is snapping in Xbox Music to add a background track to my slide show.
We hope you are as excited by the beautiful experiences of SkyDrive in Xbox One as we are. We’re pleased to announce that the SkyDrive app will be available on the Xbox One launch day, November 22nd. After you set up your Xbox One, just say, “Xbox: Go To SkyDrive.” to get started. Until then, get ready by uploading your photos and videos to SkyDrive!
Program Manager, SkyDrive