Cloud-based storage and collaboration provider Box.net (news, site) is making no secret of the fact that their document management philosophy lovingly embraces the mobile device world. Today they've launched new native applications for Android and Blackberry Playbook tablets, and a web-based HTML5 version of their apps for any HTML5-compliant mobile browser. Here's a closer look.
Box.net has grown from a pure file sharing application to become a document management and social collaboration platform. Apparently, lots of people approve.
The company boasts more than 6 million users, stores 300 million documents and says 73% of Fortune 500 companies are its customers. Many of those customers want access to all of the Box.net features everywhere, from any device.
We hear ya.
Content is King, Mobile is Queen
Box.net is responding to plight of your content hungry mobile device. The company has fully embraced mobile as their key component of their future success. Box.net has existing native applications for Android smart phones, iPhone, iPad and Blackberry, but the mobile website was lackluster -- not more.
Today the company announced a completely re-designed mobile site to use the not quite yet approved HTML5 standard.
An HTML5 Wager
The company is betting, like Apple, that the new more interactive HTML5 will become “the” tool for web development and eliminate Adobe’s Flash for rich internet applications.
The new mobile site supports the same features as native Box.net mobile applications, but functions across mobile operating systems.
This is important given the notorious volatility of the mobile market. Because Box.net thinks that eventually most mobile devices will embrace HTML5 and result in the broadest enterprise deployment, they are investing more resources into developing features for the platform.
In fact, the mobile website has features, like search, that aren’t even available in native mobile application.
Natives are Still Restless
Although Box.net is embracing HTML5 for mobile approach, they aren’t giving up on native apps. The company has said they will develop native applications if they can partner closely with mobile device provider to create a rich and interactive application and jointly market the offering.
Or in other words, we'll love you, but carry a big HTML5 stick.
In addition to today’s launch of the HTML5 mobile site, Box.net also released native applications for Android and BlackBerry Playbook tablets. We will be watching to see if Box.net commitment to mobile application delivery pays off in continued growth. This is one of the most fascinating dynamics currently playing out across the mobile space.