Skydrive Updates: Timeline View, Faster Uploads, Thumbnails

On May 13, Omar Shahine announced a collection of updates to SkyDrive on the Inside SkyDrive blog.

The most visible update is of course a new view of your SkyDrive content — Timeline View for photos. With this view, which was going to be rolled out over 48 hours, you can see all your photos across all folders and sub-folders in a timeline view. This is very handy because you may have created many photo albums and if you are looking for a certain picture from a certain time in the past, now it is really easy to click through to find the said picture.

SkyDrive Timeline View
SkyDrive Timeline View

The timeline view allows you to see a general timeline listing and then, by clicking on a month name you can quickly browse through the various months where there are pics in your SkyDrive collection. Clicking on a month name will show all the photos with a timestamp of that month.

SkyDrive Timeline View - Month
SkyDrive Timeline View – Month


In addition, Microsoft also announced that they have improved the performance of the SkyDrive desktop application. They claim, per their internal tests, that the upload times are now 2-3x faster than before.

Another minor update was made to the thumbnail layout in SkyDrive, and also, new support now for PowerPoint and Word files.

SkyDrive Thumbnail Layout
SkyDrive Thumbnail Layout


Finally, related to SkyDrive, earlier they announced that from Windows Phones, the auto-uploading of full-resolution pictures and videos is now going to be possible in all markets and not just the US. It is quite astounding actually, that the auto-upload was not yet in place for most of the world. Anyway, it is better late than never.

It is very clear that the teams are on a rapid release schedule of some sort because we have seen consistent updates from them over the past several months. Now that the transition from hotmail to is complete, I am hoping we will see some key missing features (music support on SkyDrive, video support in the timeline view, etc.) also implemented in short time.

What do you think of the SkyDrive updates?


New Timeline Update – You Can Now Customize Your Facebook Timeline

Less than a week after rolling out a brand new News Feed design, Facebook has now announced a new update for its Timeline, which features a simplified layout and redesigned sections for things that ‘users care about’.

The new update will enable users to customize their Facebook Timeline and will make it easier for them to organize the things they like on their “About” page. Along with the photos and friends, the new redesigned sections will give users one place to add music, movies, TV shows and books that interest them.

For instance, “if you’re a movie buff, you can add your favorites to your movies section or use apps like Flixster and Netflix to share what you’re watching”, says Facebook. Users can manually tweak their pages on what apps they want to be displayed. Also, apps now get extra space on the page in other areas, with some now appearing under a user’s “About” tab.

Customize Facebook Timeline

Here’s a look at what the new timeline officially looks like. Facebook says that the new updated Timeline will be rolled out to a random set of users before they make it available to all users across the globe.

New Facebook Timeline Update

The “About” section, including friends, photos, and application activity are all placed on the left hand side of the Timeline. This is, however, customizable according to the user’s liking. The right-hand side of the Timeline now consists of the new status update box along with the latest posts.

Facebook has stated that the new update will only be reflected to user pages and no change is being made to business or fan pages as of now.

Facebook described how the new timeline will change the way users interact with apps:

The update makes apps more prominent by giving them new sections in the left column of timeline and on the About page. The new visual sections give you a way to add content from apps like Pinterest, Quora, Instagram, Etsy, Fab, and Foursquare, directly to your timeline. You can also collect stories from movies, TV, music, book and fitness apps into sections. It’s easy to organize your app stories into boxes on your profile, rearrange the boxes, and add content inline from desktop or mobile.

Facebook also stated that new Timeline users will begin to see the latest version of Timeline in their native iOS app immediately. However, as usual, Android users will have to wait a little longer as the it will be updated in the coming weeks.

Your Next Login to Facebook Might Leave You Surprised

If you’re still using the old Facebook profile layout, and haven’t made a switch to the new Timeline, then your next login to Facebook may surprise you, and might leave you wondering — “what happened?” That’s because Facebook is planning on rolling out the Timeline to all users.

When Facebook announced the new profile layout Timeline last year, it said that the new layout is a permanent change, and there’s nothing a user can do to avoid it. It also announced that within a few weeks, everyone will be upgraded to the new Timeline, regardless of whether they liked it or not.

However, many users who didn’t like the Timeline, protested saying that they wanted an option to opt-out of it. This forced Facebook to stop the automatic roll out of the feature to all users, and instead provided users with an option to adopt the redesign if they wanted. Many who enabled the Timeline just to try it out, were finding ways to disable it, or get back the old design. However, that wasn’t possible.

Now, the social media giant is looking to make the Timeline rollout a permanent change for all users. This time, no gimmicks. By this fall, Facebook has planned to automatically change the user profile layout to the Timeline as a part of its photo layout redesign earlier today, reports Tech Crunch.

Users on my friends list who were still using the old profile, were quite surprised to see the upgrade that was done without their knowledge:

Facebook Timeline roll out for all users

Also Read: Beware of “Disable or Remove Facebook Timeline” Scams

At the initial stages, you may find the new Timeline confusing and cluttered, however, several features that it offers is the reason why you will start loving the Timeline. Also, switching to Timeline will not change any of your Privacy Settings, instead you will have more control on what goes into your Timeline and who can view it. You can read this article on how to Protect Your Privacy in Facebook Timeline.

With the new Timeline, you can easily navigate to older posts with the timestamp provided on the right.  Additionally, the new Activity Log feature records all your activity on Facebook, which is only visible to you. We have posted an in-depth guide about Timeline. I recommended you to go through it and know all of its features.

Facebook Finalizes Timeline, Rolling Out to All Facebook Users Now

When Facebook unveiled Timeline for the first time and we caught a glimpse of it at their F8 developer summit, it was clear that Facebook has big plans for this feature. Timeline was a major upgrade for the social network, and it was definitely going to stay. What we did not know, was how far Facebook would keep developing it, before rolling it out to the public permanently. Well, the wait is over, and stating today, Timeline is an official Facebook feature, available to all Facebook users. The final rollout of timeline took Facebook four months from its first preview.

In these four months, Facebook acquired Gowalla possibly to improve Timeline, or to integrate location services (Facebook places, in this case) with Timeline in some way. Timeline was also released on 15 December as an opt-in feature in New Zealand, where you had to enable Timeline for your account by yourself, if you wanted to use it. This time though, Timeline will be the default view on your profile. Although you can select to opt-out of Timeline for a few more days (at, eventually, your account will be upgraded to use Timeline.

I have been using Timeline for quite some time now, using a trick that was revealed right after the first preview of Timeline (irrelevant now). Timeline has some interesting UX aspects that make it wonderful for a walk down memory lane. It gives more meaning and organization to the stream of Facebook posts, presenting it as a meaningful stream of thoughts over time.

Timeline is available on both the Facebook website, and on the Android Facebook app. If you have not seen Timeline on your profile yet, you will get it very soon. Tag your photos properly and clean up your albums for a meaningful Facebook Timeline experience on your profile. Here is the Facebook Timeline introduction video for those did not get a chance to see it yet.