Microsoft is going full throttle in its drive to expand the reach of its cloud service to all its platforms. The company recently announced that it would be launching a dedicated SkyDrive app for Xbox 360.  

Dan Somrack, Program Manager for SkyDrive, wrote in a blog post that the cloud services will be linked to your Xbox and TV. “Every photo, video, movie, and other file you put in SkyDrive from Windows or the web will be available on your Xbox-connected TV. Your Windows Phone is also now connected to Xbox and every photo you snap can be available on your TV automatically.”

The new SkyDrive app for Xbox 360

The new SkyDrive app for Xbox 360

The focus here is on the photo-sharing function. Somrack wrote that Microsoft thought of various possibilities and features they could have introduced to the Xbox environment, but decided to concentrate on scenarios people said were most valuable.

The app allows you to view photos or videos on your television sets. You can even share them with your family and friends through your Xbox and even view those shared with you. If you own and use a Windows phone, your images will be available on the TV via your Xbox. For this, your Xbox LIVE and Windows Phone must have the same Microsoft account sign in.

Another new feature in the SkyDrive for Xbox 360 app is an interesting 'Party Slide Show' feature. Using this feature, you can play slide-shows on your TV as a kind of  background while there is a party going on. You can even choose to play videos from the last party or holiday in the background.

The SkyDrive for Xbox 360 app supports Kinect voice controls and gestures, as well as remote and controller input that can make surfing through images and data a breeze. Essentially, you can activate slideshows of images or open folders with simple voice commands.

Microsoft has been expanding SkyDrive in a big way. The app was given a facelift in August, including a new look modelled on the new Windows 8 UI and was enhanced to upload faster. The SkyDrive app was subsequently released for Android and Windows 8, taking competitors Dropbox, which came bundled with some Android phones, head on.

The app lets you access SkyDrive content, including files shared with you; view recently used documents, and even choose multiple photos or videos to upload from your phone or desktop. You can also share your files and photos through email or a link in another app.

To set up SkyDrive on your Xbox 360, go to Apps and select Browse Apps. In the social category select ‘SkyDrive’ to start uploading your data.

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