Microsoft just made OneDrive totally awesome

OneDrive Mac client preview

Wednesday, Microsoft rolled out an all-new version of its OneDrive sync client for the Mac while bringing out a plethora of really cool features on the web and releasing a revamped iOS app.

The iOS client now supports OneDrive for Business accounts so basically your work and life can now be on all your Apple devices in a single app.

Not only does the redesigned iPhone and iPad app look nicer, it also lets you search photos by tags and create gorgeous albums. It even recognizes text in photos and PDFs and integrates with the popular password-management software 1Password and LastPass.

The new and improved Mac client allows OneDrive for Business users to securely manage and sync their work files through the Mac’s familiar Finder experience. Integration with Finder is one of the features made possible by App Extensions in OS X Yosemite and Dropbox takes advantage of it as well.

Office Mechanics has a nice video preview of the Mac app in action and an overview of the new features coming soon to OneDrive for Business, watch it below.

As for the iOS app, support for OneDrive for Business is definitely a headline new feature. It makes it possible to use the same app to organize, access and manage your personal and business files, including the ability to save new files to your OneDrive for Business account, search and share them and access the Recycle Bin.

OneDrive 50 for iOS photos iPhone screenshot

Next, there are some interesting new ways to view, manage and share your photos with Albums, plus some handy new features like the ability to curate photos from your phone, desktop and email inbox, search for your OneDrive files and photos with Bing’s text recognition technology and more.

Shown above and below: the new Albums in OneDrive for iOS. The new Tags view (see the above screenshot) filters images based on your top tags, both manually and automatically-generated ones.

Microsoft says it will utilize the growing tags database to enhance OneDrive’s photo management capabilities, including finding your photos more quickly and making them prettier.

Albums can be created in both the mobile app and the web interface, with changes flowing seamlessly across all your devices and platforms. Now available in the updated iOS app and on the web, Albums will be coming to Android and Windows Phone soon.

OneDrive 50 for iOS album creation iPad screenshot

“Unlike traditional folders, Albums let your photos stand front and center,” writes the Windows giant. “Thumbnails are larger, photos are edge-to-edge, and everything is arranged together into a beautiful collage.”

Like on Flickr, clicking a photo opens it in full-screen view, with all metadata tucked away under a pop-up menu. No matter where in OneDrive your photos and videos are stored, Albums will pull them together in one seamless view.

OneDrive Albums web screenshot 002

As seen below, it’s also possible to search for photos based on tags, time, location or text that is extracted from images themselves, as well as for Office/PDF docs by text inside of them.

Moreover, OneDrive can now automatically recognize content in photos, courtesy of Bing technology and awesome image recognition wizardry by Microsoft Research. This opens whole new possibilities like automatically grouped collections of photos and searching for things like “people,” “dogs,” “whiteboard,” “beach,” “sunsets,” and more.

OneDrive Albums web screenshot 001

It’s awesome that folks you share Albums with will enjoy the gorgeous interface you’re seeing, with its layout automatically optimized for desktop, mobile and OneDrive mobile apps.

We’re not done yet.

Now if you take a bunch of photos during the weekend, OneDrive will automatically find and send a few of them to you in a new Weekend Recap email feature, which just starting to roll out.

“Not only will you be able to enjoy them again on Monday, but you can quickly send them to your friends or family for them to see as well,” explains the firm.

OneDrive Weekly Recaps web screenshot

OneDrive users on Windows 7 and 8 will soon gain the ability to automatically upload computer screenshots and photos from digital cameras to the new “Screenshots” and “Camera Imports” folder on OneDrive, respectively.

Just to quickly refresh your memory, turning on the Camera Backup feature in OneDrive automatically doubles the amount of free cloud storage space to a cool thirty gigabytes.

OneDrive will work with Microsoft’s all-new Photos app in Windows 10. Speaking of which, Windows 10’s built-in Cortana voice assistant will be able to perform searches across your OneDrive.

Last but not least, users can now one-click save any attachment to OneDrive. Save to OneDrive web screenshot

OneDrive 5.0 changelog:

  • Improved design
  • Create photo albums that enable you to view photos together in one place without copying or moving the actual files
  • View your photos by tags (like “plant,” “building,” or “animal”) created using object recognition
  • Sign in with both your personal OneDrive and your OneDrive for Business accounts
  • Organize and open your OneDrive for Business files
  • Save new files to your OneDrive for Business account
  • Integration with your favorite password manager, including AgileBits, 1Password and LastPass.
  • An improved search experience with text recognition in photos and content of documents
  • Addressed issues with audio playback.
  • We are working to improve the video playback experience. Thank you for the feedback.
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements.

The 53.6-megabyte app requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 7.0 or later.

Grab the free OneDrive iOS client in the App Store.

The OneDrive for Business Sync Preview client for the Mac is available from the Microsoft Download Center. The regular OneDrive client for the Mac can be downloaded here.