OneDrive finally has a native app for ARM PCs [Update]
Microsoft has finally released a version for OneDrive designed to run natively on ARM computers, including both Windows-based ARM devices and Apple Silicon Macs. If you have the OneDrive app for Windows or macOS, that means you can now opt to get the native ARM app instead of the emulated versions. And that, in turn, means you can get the sync feature working properly wit solid performance. Microsoft already announced ARM versions of OneDrive a long time ago, so some may be surprised to find out it wasn’t already available.
File syncing has been a thing for OneDrive for a very long time, and until recently, there wasn’t much of a problem. However, most PCs use Intel or AMD processors, and now, we have a few ARM-based devices on the market. Syncing was technically supported in the x86/x64 versions of the app, but it would be incredibly slow on ARM devices due to not running natively. With today’s update, you can get a native version of the OneDrive app for ARM devices, which means syncing performance should be much better now.
Considering Microsoft released its first ARM-based device two years ago, you might have expected this capability to come a little sooner, particularly for Windows. Still, it’s finally here, though it’s in preview for now. If you want to try the new version of the app, you’ll need to head into the OneDrive app’s settings and enable the option to get pre-release Microsoft builds of OneDrive, and it should roll out to you in the next week. You should see a button that says you can get the ARM64 (on Windows) or Apple Silicon (on macOS) version of the app on this page, too.
This is another step in making ARM-based devices more legitimate experiences, especially on Windows, where they’re still not on par with Intel or AMD devices on many levels. Windows 11 already made some strides in this regard, adding support for x64 emulation on ARM, with Microsoft also making it possible for developers to adapt parts of their apps piecemeal so they can gradually adopt native ARM technologies.
Windows on ARM devices are also set to get a significant boost in the first half of 2022 thanks to the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which promises a massive 85% performance improvement over the current generation. You can read about our early experiences with that chip using the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Reference Design.