It was an exciting day for sure yesterday with many announcements about OneDrive. Here is my take on the OneDrive road map.
Connecting you from any device, Office 365 provides access to personal and shared files for team collaboration. Incorporating artificial intelligence will not only increase productivity, but real-time collaboration can take place across all platforms and operating systems. Security is on the forefront as new security and compliance capabilities are being implemented to keep your data safe from threats and attacks.
With new enhancements to Office 365, OneDrive Files On-Demand for Windows has cross-platformed to Mac: OneDrive Files On-Demand for Mac. Office Insiders are the first ones that this has been released to.
OneDrive Files On-Demand for Mac
Storage space is always a consideration, but with OneDrive Files On-Demand for Mac, this is minimized with the ability to locally store the files that you need while having access to all your files. All files can be found in Finder, and they work like all other files on your device. There is no need to change the way you work. OneDrive Files On-Demand for Mac is available for consumer and commercial OneDrive customers, and like One-Drive Files On-Demand for Windows, it operates across all personal, work, and shared files in Office 365.
Accessing OneDrive On-Demand for Mac
Accessing your folders in OneDrive On-Demand for Mac begins by choosing the OneDrive folder in Finder. Note that this folder occupies 0 bytes of storage on the disk. All documents in this folder are stored in the cloud.
How do I know if my document is stored locally or in OneDrive? New status icons in Finder provides quick visual cues as to where the file is stored. Folders and files in OneDrive On-Demand are stored in the cloud until you download and save locally. Why store locally? Perhaps at times, you will need to access the file when you cannot connect to the internet. In preparation for this event, choose the file or files that you would like to download locally. Right-click your selection and then choose Always keep on this device. Your file or files are now stored locally, ready to be accessed without an internet connection.
To access and work on your OneDrive On-Demand files, double-click on the file in Finder. You can also open the file from within an app. The file will automatically download and become locally available but will not be stored locally unless you chose to do so, thereby saving storage space.
End-user training is simplified as OneDrive On-Demand for PC and OneDrive On-Demand for Mac functions and works the same across both platforms. Those users who have had experience with PC will find it to be a natural transition to Mac.
IT Admin Controls
Not only has end-user experience been greatly enhanced with OneDrive On-Demand for Mac, IT admins and the organization will also benefit. Previously, a change in a file in a shared library on SharePoint on Mac automatically synced to all devices that were connected to that library, even if the collaborator was not active. With OneDrive On-Demand for Mac, continuous syncing with non-active collaborators is eliminated with the management options available to IT admins when deploying. By eliminating continuous syncing, network bandwidth is reduced. Management options include enabling Files On-Demand by default, select folders or files to always be locally available, and block apps from downloading files. As exciting as this is, Files On-Demand for Mac is currently available only for Office Insiders on MacOS Mojave or by running a simple script. For the public, it will be rolled out in the coming months.
Dark Mode for OneDrive
Another new and exciting OneDrive feature for MacOS Mojave is Dark Mode. Fully supported for OneDrive, Dark Mode works cohesively with the built-in apps for Mac. When Dark Mode is enabled, OneDrive will change to a dark theme across all user interfaces, including Finder and the OneDrive Activity Centre.
Files On-Demand Storage Sense Integration
Being released with the new Windows 10 in October, Files On-Demand will be integrated with Storage Sense. With the integration of Storage Sense into Files On-Demand, disk space can be automatically freed up by making older, unused, and local OneDrive files online-only. Your files will be safely stored in OneDrive while your files will be represented as placeholders on your device, a process known as dehydration. Once you have an internet connection again, the online-only files can be used just like any other file.
Collaboration, sharing, and accessing files has never been more powerful with the cross-platform compatibility of Office 365 and Files On-Demand for PC and Mac. Local storage space is freed up with storage in OneDrive but the ability to store locally on your device ensures that files you need to access without an internet connection are still accessible. And with Storage Sense integrated with OneDrive, local storage space is automatically freed up while making local OneDrive files online-only. OneDrive and Files On-Demand continue to strengthen Microsoft’s vision of collaboration on all devices and platforms.