Cloud-based storage and sharing application Box.net has bet big on iOS apps so far, and has seen considerable traction with its iPad and iPhone apps. Since launch, Box.net has seen 200,000 downloads of its iPhone and iPad apps, and topped 1 million content previews on mobile in the second quarter of 2010. Today, Box is expanding beyond the iOS platform to offer users a free Android app, which is now available on the Android Marketplace.
Similar to Box’s other mobile offerings, the Android app makes it easy for users to access, share and manage their business content on-the-go. You can browse through files and folders; preview files, including documents, media files and Web documents; share Box links to files and folders via email; and upload files stored on your Android device.
Box co-founder Aaron Levie says that one of the key features on the Android app that is lacking on the company’s iOS apps is powerful search. Via the Android app, you can search for files and filter results by relevance, date updated, file size and name. Levie says because of the Android’s search-driven mobile experience, it made it easier for Box to include a integrated search feature. He adds that this app’s performance is faster than Box’s iPad and iPhone apps.
Another interesting side note; Box decided to develop an Android app before a BlackBerry app. This is of course, surprising because BlackBerry devices are so commonplace in businesses and the enterprise, where Box’s apps and platform are mainly used. Levie highlights the steady rise in enterprise adoption of Android devices as being a reasoning behind developing the app before BlackBerry. He adds that a BlackBerry app is in the works and should be released soon.
According to Forrester research, 10% of enterprises are expected to manage or support Android OS smartphones by the end of 2010. In addition to releasing a customized Box app for Android, the company is also working with third-party developers to leverage its OpenBox Mobile platform and incorporate Box’s content sharing, accessing and storage capabilities into other Android business applications.
As Levie has told us in the past, competitors like Microsoft Sharepoint don’t have strong mobile offerings, so this is an opportunity to take charge of an open market. Box, he says, should be available on any platform where users are working.