One of the frequently asked questions as of late, being asked by some of you and a lot by me, is if the app syncs with SkyDrive or has plans to.
For those of you new to the Windows 8 platform, SkyDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage system. Documents, pictures, music, and video in your SkyDrive account is available to you from any computer that you log into. Additionally, you even have offline access to the data if you are disconnected from the network.
Microsoft has given Windows 8 app developers a means to connect their apps to SkyDrive to allow users to retrieve and store documents there from the app. Brilliant! Some developers have taken it a step further and are using the user’s SkyDrive to sync the local database to. This allows users the ability to have the same data and settings for the app on any computer the user logs into. This too is brilliant…with a catch.
As a result, a new directory appears in your SkyDrive folder that you may have or may not have approved of. Usually the folder is named similarly to the app’s name though. But the danger is that the user can inadvertently delete or alter this folder or its data as well which can cause a loss of all saved data.
So, as the person who is solely responsible for the features implemented in this app, I have a dilemma. Do I build this capability into the app providing a great, but potentially hazardous feature, or do I work on other ways to improve the app and the availability of your data.
This is a great concern for me. I’m writing a book right now using Writing Type and I would love to be able to work on it from either of my two Windows 8 devices. But I can’t. Sure my development team could probably implement this, but I don’t know if we should. There are other options available, but they are beyond the current budget of this app, but possible if the app continues to grow its user base.
So, what are we working on? The next release, which should be released by the end of January, brings key features that are needed even more than sync: Backup and Restore, and Project and Section Export to various file formats.
I don’t know about you, but as I’m writing what is sure to be the next great American novel (yeah…sure), I need to be sure that my words are safe if my computer crashes. The backup option will allow you to save all your projects anywhere you choose with a couple of clicks. The Share Charm feature works now if you need to export a specific project or a section, but it is no backup.
I apologize for not having this out there sooner!
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, via the feedback form, or by a private contact message. Your input is key to making sure that I’m staying on track to make Writing Type the best Windows 8 tool for writers.