Windows Phone Apps removed from Zune

Windows PhoneThis was something that I noticed at the weekend just gone, in I wanted to download an album off Zune, and was presented with the popup message that “features have changed” and the feature that has changed is the ability of downloading Windows Phone 7 apps from the Zune software.

I first thought oh great another feature removed, but then actually stepped back and asked myself, “did I ever download a WP7 app from inside Zune”, the answer was a resounding NO, never in the past year of having my WP7 had I downloaded an app from Zune, so its not a feature I will miss.

Do read the below quote from Mazhar Mohammed and visit the full blog article linked below.

“Hi everyone. Today I want to tell you about two changes we’re making to Marketplace to help pave the way for new store features and new apps in the months ahead.

First, we’re removing the option to shop for Windows Phone apps from the Zune PC software. Second, as part of a larger Marketplace improvement effort, you’ll soon need Windows Phone 7.5 installed on your phone to buy and download new apps, or update existing ones.

As you’ll see in a moment, most of you likely won’t even notice these changes. Let me elaborate.

Focusing on phone and web

Until today you could shop for Windows Phone apps and games in three places: on your phone, on the web, and via the Zune software on your PC.

But we know—probably not a huge surprise here—that most Windows Phone owners browse and buy apps on their phones. The web Marketplace, which debuted last September on the Windows Phone website, has also become a popular place to shop, since it’s available from any Internet-connected PC or Mac.”

One thing I would say is that some of the games can be large to download via your mobile  connection and especially if you have a data cap, so either you have to connect via WiFi or as in this Q&A HERE you can still use Zune for large apps (those over 20mb).

Read the full blog post at the Windows Team Blog HERE

Microsoft SkyDrive

SkyDriveMicrosoft have updated SkyDrive not only now adding a Desktop SkyDrive local application for Windows (which I will cover a little later with a quick install and features guide) and MAC OSX but also they have updated the Windows 7 Phone and iPhone apps for SkyDrive, which is really very welcome as these updated “apps” for mobile devices add well needed options as in allowing you to delete files.

Download the Desktop and Mobile versions of SkyDrive  HERE 

SkyDrive Desktop (local) application adds the following features, which when I first read and watched a video about this desktop application from the SkyDrive team involved I thought wow, why have we not had this before as its perfect for my data needs and likely prefect for many home and business users also.

Features
  • Access your SkyDrive directly from Windows Explorer – photos, documents and all your other important files.
  • Quickly add new files to SkyDrive by dragging them to the SkyDrive folder.
  • Easily organise your files and folders in SkyDrive, just like any other folder.
  • Connect back to your PC if you forget to put something in SkyDrive.

To install the Windows Desktop version download from the earlier link, then once downloaded, double click the setup file to start the install procedure.

Skydrive01

Next we are not quite there yet, once you see the “Welcome to SkyDrive” screen (below) click Get Started and you will be presented with the SkyDrive Sign In page, here just add the Windows Live ID account you wish to use (your email and password) and click Sign In.

Skydrive02 Skydrive03

Once signed in you are given the choice to change the default location of the local SkyDrive folder (this is the one where files added to SkyDrive are saved locally to your PC), once you have chosen a new folder of your choice or kept the default suggested folder click Next. You can also make files on your local PC also available on other devices, such as Mobile devices, so tick the box if you wish this option then click Done.

Skydrive04 Skydrive05

Then the app will start to sync your SkyDrive files to the local folder, which as you can see below on my Windows 8 preview PC, is also integrated into Explorer, so easily accessible like any folder.

Skydrive06

Do not worry if your files do not appear straight away, as the syncing between SkyDrive and your PC may take a while as it depends on how many files you have stored on SkyDrive or how quick your internet download speed is, but just hover over the System Tray SkyDrive icon and you can see how many files are left to download/sync.

Skydrive07

So all you need to do now is either create new folders to save files to or just drag and drop (copy or cut and paste) a file/s to a SkyDrive folder to sync it to the “cloud”.

Mobile SkyDrive has changed a little and for the better I feel, the below are some screenshots from my Apple iPhone/iPod version, I do have a Windows 7 Phone (not as easy to do screenshots as the iPhone/iPod) but its options are the same.

2012-04-24T17-48-47 2012-04-24T17-49-34 2012-04-24T17-49-45

Clicking the top right arrow icon in the 1st screenshot gives you the options in the 2nd pic, which allows you to add/edit etc. and in the 3rd pic if you click a file/picture now you can as you see on the bottom menu bar, the options to Send in email, Delete, Move and Rename or Download to your Mobile device.

Do read the System Requirements for SkyDrive HERE

I will be doing at some point soon a write up of SkyDrive built into Windows 8 and its options, but likely more around the time the Release Preview of Windows 8 is released for testing in June.