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Microsoft: These new OneDrive features on iOS, Android, web, are headed your way

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Microsoft this month will roll out new features for the iOS and Android OneDrive cloud file-storage app, as well as OneDrive on the web.

The update aims to improve productivity by helping OneDrive users bring order to scans of handwritten meeting notes, and make work documents easier to share.

The OneDrive mobile app will get a simple way to add custom metadata to any scans or images taken from a mobile device.

Users would start a scan from a Library the file should go into. After taking the scan, metadata fields appear and can be filled in on the go.

Once meeting notes have been scanned, OneDrive will then prompt the user to share the scan with other people at the meeting.

The time-saving feature relies on Microsoft Graph’s connections between files, scans and meetings to know which contacts to share the scan with. It will also be available on iOS and Android in November.

OneDrive on the web meanwhile will be getting a refreshed Recent view. Microsoft promises it will be “simple, faster and more satisfying to use”.

The improved Recent view will come to Office files first, while other file types will be improved over time. It will roll out over the next few months.

Manage Access, the OneDrive feature for controlling who has access to files and folders, is also being updated to make it easier for users to add and remove people on links limited to specific people.

The update will also make it clear who is using a particular link. That’s rolling out through November and December.

Microsoft has also announced that on February 1 next year it will drop support for OneDrive desktop on Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10 and Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11.

Microsoft says it’s a business decision and notes that Apple has already dropped mainline support for both versions of OS X.

OneDrive on affected versions will still work, but Microsoft won’t be testing their functionality and bugs won’t be fixed. It will also block OneDrive installations on these versions of OS X after the cut-off date.

Users are urged to upgrade to Mac OS X Sierra 10.12 or later, but Microsoft recommends upgrading to the macOS Mojave 10.14.

Microsoft is rolling out intelligent meeting note-sharing with OneDrive on Android, left, and a common sharing dialog in Word Mobile, right.


Image: Microsoft

Previous and related coverage

OneDrive tips and tricks: How to master Microsoft’s free cloud storage

If you haven’t checked out OneDrive lately, you’re missing out. Over the past two years, Microsoft has methodically added a raft of new features that can help you back up personal files and photos.

Microsoft readies OneDrive for Business feature to aid in migrating local data off Windows PCs

Microsoft expects to roll out to all OneDrive for Business users on Windows 7, 8 and 10 by the end of July a new content-migration feature, Known File Migration.

Microsoft touts more AI-powered OneDrive for Business and SharePoint features due later this year

Microsoft is adding automated audio and video transcription, file recommendations and new content-sharing options to its OneDrive for Business and SharePoint storage services later this year.

Microsoft brings ‘Known Folder Migration’ feature to OneDrive consumer users

Microsoft is adding a new option to OneDrive consumer to encourage Windows users to automatically back up their Documents, Pictures and Desktop folders to the cloud.

How to back up your desktop, documents, and pictures with Microsoft OneDrive TechRepublic

In Microsoft OneDrive, you can back up and protect three important folders from their default locations. Learn how by following this step-by-step guide.

You can now sync your PC’s important folders with OneDrive CNET

Come for the convenience, stay for the protection.

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Facebook is testing pop-up messages telling people to read a link before they share it – TechCrunch

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Years after popping open a pandora’s box of bad behavior, social media companies are trying to figure out subtle ways to reshape how people use their platforms.

Following Twitter’s lead, Facebook is trying out a new feature designed to encourage users to read a link before sharing it. The test will reach 6 percent of Facebook’s Android users globally in a gradual rollout that aims to encourage “informed sharing” of news stories on the platform.

Users can still easily click through to share a given story, but the idea is that by adding friction to the experience, people might rethink their original impulses to share the kind of inflammatory content that currently dominates on the platform.

Twitter introduced prompts urging users to read a link before retweeting it last June and the company quickly found the test feature to be successful, expanding it to more users.

Facebook began trying out more prompts like this last year. Last June, the company rolled out pop-up messages to warn users before they share any content that’s more than 90 days old in an an effort to cut down on misleading stories taken out of their original context.

At the time, Facebook said it was looking at other pop-up prompts to cut down on some kinds of misinformation. A few months later, Facebook rolled out similar pop-up messages that noted the date and the source of any links they share related to COVID-19.

The strategy demonstrates Facebook’s preference for a passive strategy of nudging people away from misinformation and toward its own verified resources on hot button issues like COVID-19 and the 2020 election.

While the jury is still out on how much of an impact this kind of gentle behavioral shaping can make on the misinformation epidemic, both Twitter and Facebook have also explored prompts that discourage users from posting abusive comments.

Pop-up messages that give users a sense that their bad behavior is being observed might be where more automated moderation is headed on social platforms. While users would probably be far better served by social media companies scrapping their misinformation and abuse-ridden existing platforms and rebuilding them more thoughtfully from the ground up, small behavioral nudges will have to do.

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State AGs tell Facebook to scrap Instagram for kids plans – TechCrunch

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In a new letter, attorneys general representing 44 U.S. states and territories are pressuring Facebook to walk away from new plans to open Instagram to children. The company is working on an age-gated version of Instagram for kids under the age of 13 that would lure in young users who are currently not permitted to use the app, which was designed for adults.

“It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one, as this platform appeals primarily to children who otherwise do not or would not have an Instagram account,” the coalition of attorneys general wrote, warning that an Instagram for kids would be “harmful for myriad reasons.”

The state attorneys general call for Facebook to abandon its plans, citing concerns around developmental health, privacy and Facebook’s track record of prioritizing growth over the well being of children on its platforms. In the letter, embedded below, they delve into specific worries about cyberbullying, online grooming by sexual predators and algorithms that showed dieting ads to users with eating disorders.

Concerns about social media and mental health in kids and teens is a criticism we’ve been hearing more about this year, as some Republicans join Democrats in coalescing around those issues, moving away from the claims of anti-conservative bias that defined politics in tech during the Trump years.

Leaders from both parties have been openly voicing fears over how social platforms are shaping young minds in recent months amidst calls to regulate Facebook and other social media companies. In April, a group of Congressional Democrats wrote Facebook with similar warnings over its new plans for children, pressing the company for details on how it plans to protect the privacy of young users.

In light of all the bad press and attention from lawmakers, it’s possible that the company may walk back its brazen plans to boost business by bringing more underage users into the fold. Facebook is already in the hot seat with state and federal regulators in just about every way imaginable. Deep worries over the company’s future failures to protect yet another vulnerable set of users could be enough to keep these plans on the company’s back burner.

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Spotify adds timestamped podcast sharing and other social features – TechCrunch

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On the heels of its expanded partnership with Facebook, Spotify this morning announced new sharing features that broaden the way Spotify content, including both music and podcasts, can be shared across social media. As part of this, Spotify’s Canvas feature, which adds a looping, visual art experience to songs, is being improved. Spotify will also now allow users to share a timestamped link to a podcast, which allows users to tune into to a particular moment of the podcast episode.

Previously, if you wanted to share a podcast episode, you could only post the link to the entire episode. But many times, people want to comment on or discuss a particular part of an episode. Now, they’ll be able to do so by using the “switch to share” feature at the current playtime, after tapping the “share” button while listening to the show.

This is toggle switch that lets you share from the timestamp where you’ve paused the show. After turning this one, you’re able to choose where you want to share to — like Instagram, Facebook (Stories or Feed), Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, SMS, and more.

The feature could also potentially be used for podcast marketing purposes. Typically, creators post an interesting clip from their latest episode that includes a link to the episode. But Spotify’s new feature could entice someone to tune in at a particular part, then continue listening. They may even choose to follow the podcast after doing so, as they’ll have already found themselves in the Spotify app. While it may not replace other marketing — not everyone uses Spotify, after all — it could serve as a handy supplement to the creator’s existing promotional activity.

The update to Spotify’s Canvas, meanwhile, is a smaller improvement. Now, users are able to preview their social share across Instagram Stories and now Snapchat, to see how it will appear. Before today, Canvas art could only be shared to Instagram Stories.

Spotify notes that social sharing features had become a more important aspect of using its service during the pandemic, as in-person concerts and fan events had been shut down. Artists and creators still want to engage with their fans, but have had to do so remotely and digitally. And fans want to support their favorites by posting their content to social networks where others can discover them, too.

The new sharing features are a part of Spotify’s larger investment in expanded social media distribution, which recently led to its partnership with Facebook on something the social network called “Project Boombox.” Facebook in April introduced a new miniplayer that streams Spotify’s music and podcasts from the Facebook app. That way, users can listen while they scroll, with Spotify playing in the background. But Spotify’s deal with Facebook doesn’t limit it from making it easier to share to other platforms, as well, as these new features indicate.

Spotify says the new features are rolling out now to global users on both iOS and Android.

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