Microsoft OneDrive just got some neat new features with the latest update, aiming to make it easier to work with others.
The company's cloud storage service now allows users to sync entire folders with others, while a new notifications system looks to make it easier to manage shared files.
First of all, the ability to sync a shared folder to your OneDrive account is particularly useful, as it eliminates some hurdles. Until now, users had to log in to OneDrive on the Web and access a shared file via the Shared list. The latest update now adds a neat new option "Add to my OneDrive," which enables users to add shared folders to their main OneDrive folder. This way, they can easily sync shared folders to the OneDrive app on their PC or Mac, as well as the OneDrive mobile app, for later viewing or editing.
The option to download the folder still exists, allowing users to save the content of a shared folder, but it will not sync the folder.
It's also worth pointing out that the latest version of Office and the new Windows 10 also bring another neat feature to the table: once you've synced a shared folder, you can collaborate with multiple people, working together on the files and editing them.
Notifications of edits to shared files will come in two forms. Users can either get real-time notifications on their mobile device (even on the Apple Watch), informing them whenever someone edits a file, or they can get a daily summary of edits to the shared files via email.
"We'll email a daily summary of edits to files you've shared—this is especially powerful when you are working on a group project and want to quickly see which documents have a latest version you might not be aware of," Microsoft explained in a new announcement on the official OneDrive blog.
"Changes made to the document will be saved in its version history, so you can always go back and restore a previous version if you don't like the newest changes."
Microsoft has already started rolling out these mobile and email notifications, but says they will be more widely available in the weeks to come.
The new option to sync shared folders is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Mac, but not Windows 8.1. At the same time, the shared editing capabilities require the very latest Office versions.
Lastly, Microsoft's latest update to OneDrive also improves the way users can search for files. More specifically, the company now allows users to search for text to find files inside shared folders, whether it's their own files or files that others have shared.
Microsoft explains that it added such features to shared files as well because users frequently remember the name and location of a file if they created it, but when it comes to files shared by others, users often remember them by their contents rather than the name.