The new app, which is free from the App Store, stays true to the original Box.net idea of a user-centric content management system in the cloud by giving users much of the document sharing functionality of the company’s full CMS.
Mobile Box.net CMS
The iPad app is really just an iPad version of the Box.net mobile app that is already available for iPhone and iPod, and like those enables users to access and share contentlocated in Box.net’s cloud storage as well as give them the option to add comments on documents or files.
One of the principal things that Box.net is pushing with the new app is how close the user experience is to actually working with or reading a document as the interface is considerably larger than that of the iPod at 9.7 inches.
With the new app, the screen is divided into two. The first is a navigation panel listing all the folders or content that the user have access to in the Box.net cloud, while the second screen consists of a tabbed interface that gives users real-time updates of changes to documents. There is also an option to view the documents on a single screen.
Other notable features include:
- Access to most media formats
- Access to all files and folders stored in Box's respository
- Monitor content in the Box.net cloud as it is changed
- View versions and document history.
Box.net vs The Others
With the launch of iPad there has been the predictable rush to get new apps to market that would piggy-back on this long awaited release.
Citrix (news, site) for example has already released two apps, both of them specifically targeting business users. The first isCitrix Receiver App, which enables users access all their Windows business applications and documents, and the second, called GoToMeeting,is a collaboration toolenabling users to meet online in real time in meeting settings.
While they carry-out some of the functions that Box.net’s app can carry out, they don’t give users access to a fully developed content management system.
OK, so you would have to be a subscriber to the Box.net CMS for this new app to be of any use to you, but if iPad as a mobile tool works out as well as Apple hopes it will, then having an effective app might well be the factor in pushing a company in the direction ofBox.net rather than with one of the many other cloud service providers currently available.