It's time for the Mobile App of the Week and this week our focus is on Box.net's Android app. Box's cloud-based file sharing and document collaboration platform allows users to view, share and collaborate on files from wherever they are.
After signing up for a Box.net account (which only takes a few seconds and is free), users have access to both the app and Box website. With the Android app, users are able to add folders and files (which include photo, video, audio, documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoints) directly from their phone. Users also have the ability to view, edit and download files to your Android device for offline access.
The app also links users to Box OneCloud, which is a mobile framework that helps connect content to a number of apps. Box OneCloud has a variety of other apps that could be useful for those in need of a collaboration tool set. Document collaboration capabilities already exist within the app, with the ability to share documents and files with colleagues, to give and receive feedback on shared files and the ability to track changes made by installing an update tab widget.
Box is available from the Google Play store for Android users who have a version 2.1 or higher. It currently has a user rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
Note that if you aren't an Android user, Box also offers an iPhone and an iPad app and an app for Windows Phone.
Box Android App - Open Document Options
The Pros of Box on Android
Making the claim that over 120,000 companies use Box, the app promises to provide enterprise-grade solutions for users. Some of these features include:
- A way for files to be encrypted and password protected.
- Compatibility with other OneCloud apps.
- Files can be saved to your phone or tablet’s SD card.
- Users can leave notes and comments on work for colleagues.
- Up to 5GB of data.
- The ability to add a widget or shortcut to the device that will allow the user to receive notifications of files that are updated.
- The option to open documents, spreadsheets and similar files with a variety of other apps that include iAnnoate, Annotate with qPDF, ThinkFree, Breezy or with another app installed on your phone.
Issues with Box on the Android
Box isn't a very complex document collaboration app, so there aren’t many flaws, but one is:
- When creating a document, the app directs you to download the ThinkOffice app -- even if you already have this app or another word processing app installed on your device.
This is a very easy to navigate app for those who need to manage their files when away from the office. If you are someone who simply wants to store a few items there might be simpler apps to use (like DropBox), as Box seems to be directed at those who need multi-platform document collaboration capabilities.