Tim Cook on the stage at Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park

Box Apple iOS Files Integration Ready for September Release

3 minute read
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Today is Apple’s big day. It is debuting three new handsets — including one that will reportedly retail for around $1,000 — as well as other new products at its event taking place in its Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. 

Tucked into all of the eye-catching announcements will be the big reveal of when its next operating system, Apple iOS 11, will go live.

Box users can get a preview of how at least part of the software works through its integration with the new Files app in iOS 11, which it has been demoing for the last few months. The new feature will allow Apple users to manage their content no matter where their files are stored.

iOS Files App: Apple's Latest Push Into the Workplace

Adding the Files app to the mix plays into Apple's growing push into the enterprise space and reflects a change from the company's traditional suspicions of anything outside of its own ecosystem. The rationale is clear: as more people use their devices for work related purposes, demand to manage and store content from them is greater than ever.

“Users today want choice in how and where they work, and want it to be seamless across devices,” Jon Fan, senior director, Product Management at Box wrote in a blog post about the integration. “At the same time, organizations are trying to increase productivity and collaboration across teams and the extended enterprise, while maintaining security and compliance controls on critical data. By integrating Apple Files with Box we can give users the experience that makes them the most productive while enabling secure and compliant collaboration and workflow between other users, applications, and organizations.”

Apple iOS 11 Files app

Box: More Than a Filing Cabinet in the Cloud

Indeed Box’s integration handles more than just content storage. “Yes, at our core we are a place to put files in the cloud,” Fan told CMSWire. Its greater role, though, is to further collaboration with users inside and outside of a company’s firewall, surround that collaboration with the right security controls, and then create a way for developers to build on top of all that, he said.

Furthermore, the company continues to evolve its capabilities to make Box even more of a value-add feature.

Learning Opportunities

“More and more of you will see us in the workflow, automating and bringing in some of the processes that run a business,” Fan said. “Users will be able to run those processes in Box as well.”

'Seamless and Ubiquitous Access'

The news that Box and Apple were collaborating on the new Files app was first announced in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference and some of the demos by Apple executives included the Box Files app integration.

Since then, Apple has been demoing the integration for users, which among other things allows for sharing across devices and even different operating systems. That means the view on iOS will be the same as the view on Android or Windows, Fan said. It was able to accomplish this because Apple exposed its underlying file system for this integration in order to have a common layer that looks consistent everywhere the user goes, he explained.

“It is a much more seamless and ubiquitous access,” Fan said. “I can work wherever I happen to be and then share that work directly to Box and across applications without having to take a handful of steps first.”

Essentially, he said, the Box integration will allow Apple users to create a workspace and store content simultaneously.

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