Windows Phone 7 Cloud Sync with Windows Live SkyDrive

February 10, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Windows Phone 7 handsets feature some great onboard tools – for instance you can view and organise images in the Pictures Hub, while the Office Hub allows you to create and edit Microsoft Office Mobile documents that you can then share.

While it is possible to sync images from your phone to your PC or laptop, the same functionality is not available for documents – these must either be emailed or synced with a SharePoint server.

However, what happens if you don’t have access to SharePoint?

Windows Phone 7 cloud sync with Windows Live Skydrive

Windows Phone 7 Cloud Sync with Windows Live SkyDrive

Thanks to the Windows Live SkyDrive service, these files can also be uploaded to your personal cloud storage, making the whole business of sharing documents much easier, although there are limitations (see below).

SkyDrive is a free cloud storage solution available to any Windows Live account holder – if you have a Hotmail or Windows Live email account then you will be able to use SkyDrive.  If you’re familiar with Windows Live Essentials 2011 and the Windows Live Mesh utility, you will know that SkyDrive offers the ability to backup local files on your PC.

With this storage you can save 25 GB of data (although only 5 GB is available to be used for synchronizing via Windows Live Mesh) that you can take advantage of – probably more than you will need!

It is with this storage that you can also take advantage of some useful synchronization options for the photos and documents you have created with your Windows Phone 7.

Syncing Documents with Windows Phone 7

Ignoring SharePoint, the only means of sharing documents from a Windows Phone 7 device is either by emailing them or by syncing with SkyDrive. The downside here is that only OneNote documents can be synced in this way.

This is a particularly frustrating aspect of Windows Phone – Windows Live accounts also have access to Microsoft Office Web Apps, so there seems no reason to block the syncing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from a Windows Phone when they could easily be edited further in a web browser.

In order to take advantage of SkyDrive, you need to have a Windows Live email account which must be setup on your phone. This is done via Settings > Email & Accounts > Add an account; a Windows Live, Hotmail, Xbox LIVE and other account types can be setup here.

To sync a OneNote document with SkyDrive, open the Office Hub and open a OneNote document – using the Refresh button at the bottom of the screen you will be able to sync the document with your SkyDrive – a visit to office.live.com/ will display the list of synced documents.

Sync Your Photos with Windows Live

In addition to documents, you can sync photos to your SkyDrive. This can be setup to occur automatically when you take a photograph and provides a useful backup option.

To take advantage of this, go to Settings > Applications > Pictures & Camera; find the Auto upload to SkyDrive option and flick the switch to On. You can also set a Quick Upload Account – this will either be Facebook or SkyDrive, and is provided as a means to quickly upload and display your image on your favourite social network. This isn’t automatic, however, but is activated via a menu option in the camera.

Check out photos.live.com to see the images once they are uploaded.

WP7 cloud sync

Intro

Windows Phone 7 handsets feature some great onboard tools – for instance you can view and organise images in the Pictures Hub, while the Office Hub allows you to create and edit Microsoft Office Mobile documents that you can then share.

While it is possible to sync images from your phone to your PC or laptop, the same functionality is not available for documents – these must either be emailed or synced with a SharePoint server.

However, what happens if you don’t have access to SharePoint?

Windows Phone 7 Cloud Sync with Windows Live SkyDrive

Thanks to the Windows Live SkyDrive service, these files can also be uploaded to your personal cloud storage, making the whole business of sharing documents much easier, although there are limitations (see below).

SkyDrive is a free cloud storage solution available to any Windows Live account holder – if you have a Hotmail or Windows Live email account then you will be able to use SkyDrive. If you’re familiar with Windows Live Essentials 2011 and the Windows Live Mesh utility, you will know that SkyDrive offers the ability to backup local files on your PC.

With this storage you can save 25 GB of data (although only 5 GB is available to be used for synchronizing via Windows Live Mesh [LINK]) that you can take advantage of – probably more than you will need!

It is with this storage that you can also take advantage of some useful synchronization options for the photos and documents you have created with your Windows Phone 7.

Syncing Documents with Windows Phone 7

Ignoring SharePoint, the only means of sharing documents from a Windows Phone 7 device is either by emailing them or by syncing with SkyDrive. The downside here is that only OneNote documents can be synced in this way.

This is a particularly frustrating aspect of Windows Phone – Windows Live accounts also have access to Microsoft Office Web Apps, so there seems no reason to block the syncing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from a Windows Phone when they could easily be edited further in a web browser.

In order to take advantage of SkyDrive, you need to have a Windows Live email account which must be setup on your phone. This is done via Settings > Email & Accounts > Add an account; a Windows Live, Hotmail, Xbox LIVE and other account types can be setup here.

To sync a OneNote document with SkyDrive, open the Office Hub and open a OneNote document – using the Refresh button at the bottom of the screen you will be able to sync the document with your SkyDrive – a visit to http://office.live.com/ will display the list of synced documents.

Sync Your Photos with Windows Live

In addition to documents, you can sync photos to your SkyDrive. This can be setup to occur automatically when you take a photograph and provides a useful backup option.

To take advantage of this, go to Settings > Applications > Pictures & Camera; find the Auto upload to SkyDrive option and flick the switch to On. You can also set a Quick Upload Account – this will either be Facebook or SkyDrive, and is provided as a means to quickly upload and display your image on your favourite social network. This isn’t automatic, however, but is activated via a menu option in the camera.

Check out http://photos.live.com to see the images once they are uploaded.

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