Box Launches Apps for Android Tablets, BlackBerrys, HTML5 Browsers
Cloud storage and collaboration software provider Box on Aug. 11 launched new access tools for Android tablets, BlackBerry PlayBooks and HTML5 browser-based applications.
Box already has popular applications for iPhone, iPad and Android devices that connect the service with a user's PC or laptop.
Using Box, users can drag and drop a file, any file, from their computers into the shared Box application window, and whoever you designate (also using Box, of course) inside or outside the company also will get a copy in real time. The service is not relegated to people within a company firewall; corporate partners or consultants can also make use of Box, if needed, depending upon the requirements of the work project.
Box also has folders, synched up with its cloud storage, that automatically update files as they are changed. When you receive a file in the Box application, it automatically sends an e-mail notification to whatever device, desktop or mobile, that you designate. So you know the latest about what's going on with the project.
Share, Manage, Access Files
Users can create an online workspace where they can share project files, manage files with version history, add comments, assign tasks or create new content.
When files such as Illustrator, Adobe PDF, PowerPoint or Photoshop files are inside Box, a visual representation of the file (not just an icon) appears in the folder as a preview. Thus, entire presentations can simply be dropped into the application and displayed for sales events, project meetings and other purposes. This is part of Box's "secret sauce."
Video and audio files are also supported in Box.
Developers will appreciate Box's HTML5 app, which gives the cloud service a tool for more universal cross-platform access.
When creating apps for a veritable universe of devices -- iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, Android tablets, Windows Phone 7, Windows desktops, Mac OS X and others -- developers need all the resources they can get.
Continued Focus on Enterprise Sector
Box, which focused on the consumer market during its first few years, continues to evolve steadily into the enterprise and mobile sectors.
In May, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company went into a partnership with Documentum and its owner, storage giant EMC, that gives its users access to EMC's Documentum enterprise repository directly from the cloud. This opens up Documentum, previously a closed platform, and gives it all the advantages of mobile-cloud access without having to add a lot of expensive new development.
Previously, Box signed partnerships with VMware, NetSuite and Samsung.
"The core mission of the company is to enable people to share, manage and access in a business environment from any device, anywhere, any application, any environment -- any people you want to share with," Aaron Levie, founder and CEO of Box, told eWEEK.
Levie said that Box, which now is up to about 6 million users overall, has seen a 600 percent uptick in its enterprise mobile deployments over 2010 and now has about 1 million users across its iOS, Android and mobile Web app platforms.