Box.net Android App Manages Cloud Content for Enterprises
Box.net, whose software is used by more than 4 million users and 60,000 businesses to store and manage files, has built an Android application to help corporate road warriors manage content from smartphones.
Available free Sept. 23 from the Android Market, Box for Android allows users to manage and share business content for smartphones running the operating system version 2.0 and later.
This covers most of the smartphones released in 2010, including the entire Droid line of devices from Verizon Wireless, as well as the HTC Evo 4G from Sprint and Samsung's Galaxy S series, available from all major U.S. carriers.
Box for Android users will be able to preview documents, media file and Web documents, upload photos, media and documents stored on their Android handset to box for safe keeping, browse files and folders, share Box links to files and folders via e-mail; and search for files.
Searching for managed content is a big part of the app. Users will be able to filter search results by relevance, date updated, file size and name.
Box.net CEO Aaron Levie explained in a blog post: "Because search is a cornerstone of Google and Android, we've built sophisticated search functionality into the application, with full text search capabilities for users on the business plan."
After RIM's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone, Android is the go-to mobile platform for businesses that want to allow their knowledge or sales workers to manage content on the go.
Forrester Research predicted 10 percent of enterprises are expected to manage or support Android OS smartphones by the end of the year.
As anecdotal evidence, Good Technology said it saw its mobile management software deployments grow 43 percent since adding support for the iPhone and Android last December.
To help support this growing desire for Android in the enterprise, Box.net is also allowing third-party programmers to leverage the company's OpenBox Mobile API to make Box.net's content management features available to other Android business applications.
Android isn't the first mobile platform Box.net has embraced. The company, which charges $15 per user, per month for business subscribers, supports Apple's iPhone and iPad applications, compiling more than 200,000 downloads.
"We'll continue to invest aggressively in our mobile platform, as we believe extensibility to mobile devices will be incredibly powerful and disruptive across most categories of business software," Levie.
Few would argue that Box.net's bet, which echoes that of Dropbox and others who provide software to manage digital content in the cloud, is a safe one.