Wearable Tech World Feature Article
April 21, 2015

Microsoft Releases Updated Version of OneDrive for Apple Watch

Microsoft announced recently that it had released an update for its OneDrive cloud storage app, version 5.3, which will allow Apple Watch users to view and delete photos directly from the device. The latest release is a sign of some interesting developments related to Microsoft and the mobile device software industry.

After glancing at the kinds of apps available for the Apple Watch, the impression one might get is that a sizeable number of them are geared toward fitness tracking. A recent article by MobiHealthNews listed 19 fitness apps that track activity such as gym workouts, running or cycling; help doctors manage patient loads; track nutrition, water consumption and medicine dosage; and track sleep duration and quality of sleep.

It would be difficult to compile an exhaustive list of fitness apps available for the Apple Watch, partly because the definition of what constitutes a fitness app can be vague, but it’s safe to say they are numerous. Such apps lend themselves well to a device like the Apple Watch, since they do not require much input from the user; their functionality relies heavily on their ability to measure various conditions.

As TechCrunch points out, it’s not clear therefore, why Apple Watch users would want an app that helps them view photos when larger devices are better suited for such a task. Nonetheless, it’s out there and one significant outcome is that Microsoft beat Google to the punch in bringing a cloud storage app to the Apple Watch platform.

Another seemingly counterintuitive aspect of this release is why Microsoft, which makes the Microsoft Band, would want to make an app for a competing wearable device. After looking at how Microsoft addresses software development for other mobile devices, however, it actually makes a lot of sense.

Microsoft is and always has been about software more than anything else. Although it has its own smartphone platform, Windows Phone, that OS is greatly outnumbered by Android and iOS. This is not the 1990s where computing was primarily based on the PC and the Redmond-based software giant could easily dominate the software market. Microsoft has had to change its strategy, since it no longer has the same control over the mobile device market. It is in the company’s best interests to support as many platforms as it can profitably; it certainly has the resources to do so. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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