In the latest builds of Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft made a sudden change and removed placeholders from OneDrive account, basically forcing users to synchronize accounts with local storage and thus download files to their devices.
While the removal of placeholders caused quite a lot of frustration online, it appears that many users actually like the synchronization option, so some want it on Windows Phone as well.
In a post on OneDrive UserVoice, a Microsoft program manager confirms that offline file access is coming to Windows Phone, explaining that, although there’s no timeline available at this point, this is one of the features that Redmond is planning to introduce in the coming updates.
Basically, placeholders allowed users to access their files in the cloud without the need to download everything stored there, obviously saving bandwidth, storage space, and significantly improving browsing speed.
Synchronization, on the other hand, requires users to download all files to their local drives and only then access them. This is pretty much the best option in terms of speed, because you basically browse everything on your drives and no Internet connection is needed.
That’s why users believe that this could be a helpful feature on Windows Phone.
“I keep a lot of documents on OneDrive and on Windows i can select what to sync and to keep available offline. I would like to be able to do the same on Windows Phone so the documents/folders i care about would be available offline. Simple thing, but i don't see it available right now. Seems to be core part of the functionality on Windows app?” one user said.
“Thanks for the suggestion. We know offline access is important, and we intend to bring this feature to Windows Phone. We don’t have a specific timeline yet,” Casey Penk, program manager, Microsoft, replied.
Since there is no timeline, it’s easy to forecast that Windows Phone 10 is very likely to be the version bringing such OneDrive capabilities, but it’s, of course, too early to discuss this implementation, given the fact that the new mobile operating system will only launch in the fall of 2015.