While some of the features in mango are simply amazing there are still some things that need a bit of ironing. I was super excited that they worked out the photo and video sharing features in Mango but they’re not perfect yet. First off, if you share a picture in Mango to Twitter what it does is provide a link to a new folder in SkyDrive called “Twitter Uploads” and it’s a shared folder. It looks something like the embedded image. That’s not a big deal for most but here you can see the author’s name. if you use Twitter anonymously well that’ll blow it. Also, some people use SkyDrive like a quasi-public cloud drive. Since it’s not so heavily used you can ‘share’ things because unless you tell people they’re there then they won’t really be public. But from a Twitter upload I can follow the user, go to their profile (unless it is private) and see if they have anything else that’s public. It’s one of those things where you don’t think that public really means public and for a lot of people this may not matter but it’s something people should be aware of.
Here’s another one though. There’s the ability to share a video using SkyDrive in Mango (the other option is Facebook and there’s no YouTube support, at least not yet). When you share a video using SkyDrive it uploads to a folder called “mobile uploads” but that’s a location that you may be already using for some pictures when you save them to SkyDrive from your phone. I see a handful of photos there already. So if I save a video there and I share the link with someone what happens? Assuming I made the drive public (or provided them access with a link, etc) they can browse the photos in the folder. Yes, just the photos. Since SkyDrive has a great photo viewer that’s what the recipient sees and not a ‘drive’ with folder details for example. So how can I get them to see the video? I had to move the video to a new folder and only have videos in that folder. Once that was done the video could be downloaded/watched by a third party but they could not watch the video in-browser. So even though SkyDrive does sometimes show embedded videos, these are little more than download links and that doesn’t change if I toggle the folder as a photo folder or document folder.
If someone knows a solution to these issues (if there is one) please share it. For now, sharing on Twitter using SkyDrive is ok if you are watching your privacy and sharing videos over SkyDrive is a two step process (unless you keep Mobile Uploads empty of photos) and you need to know that it won’t stream videos, just let you download them. It’s a start but it needs polishing.