When Apple announced that it would finally provide iPad users with access to the file system via a new Files app, I had one immediate question: Would Microsoft make OneDrive available via this new interface?
The answer is yes.
“We are excited to announce support for the new Files app and its file management capabilities,” a short announcement from the OneDrive team reads. “OneDrive integration with the Files app will make it easier for you to access your content from any Apple device and will provide a better file management experience on iOS for your personal and work OneDrive and SharePoint sites. We will share more details when iOS 11 releases.”
As that announcement also notes, Microsoft already integrates OneDrive into iOS where possible. For example, you can use the iOS Share interface to share content to (or from) OneDrive, and you can integrate the service into Apple’s Messages app.
But the Files app is, of course, of particular interest since this interface is so core to interfacing apps with your own files. Adding OneDrive to Files will make it a first class citizen on iOS devices, and the iPad in particular, where productivity scenarios, including split screen views, are more likely.
I’ve installed the iOS 11 Beta on my iPhone and iPad mini and assumed that it was extensible. Out of the box, Files provides the user with access to the local file system and Apple’s iCloud storage. But you can actually disable iCloud, which led me to believe that you will someday, in turn, be able to enable third party services too. Not just OneDrive, but Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, whatever.
Anyway, that appears to be happening. Which is fantastic.