Box app keeps you connected to cloud data offline

Box is launching an updated app that syncs cloud data to the iPhone and iPad for offline access

Box.net, a cloud storage provider, recognized that users on the go are often unable to connect with the cloud--often when access to the data stored in the cloud is most urgent. To solve that problem, Box is updating its iPhone and iPad apps to sync files for offline access.

Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box.net, explains in a blog post "Today's workplace has exploded beyond the office walls and into coffee shops, airplanes and our homes. At Box, we're building a powerful mobile platform to meet the demands of this increasingly mobile workforce, making it easy for you to access, share and collaborate on your content, wherever you are. But what happens when "wherever" has a spotty data connection, or no Wi-Fi access? We believe that just because your connectivity sucks, that's no reason your productivity has to suffer."

As an owner of a Wi-Fi only iPad, I can vouch for the fact that connectivity is a persistent issue almost every time I am out of the house. I still maintain that the Wi-Fi only iPad is the way to go for purely consumer use, but anyone looking to use the iPad as a mobile business tool should invest in the 3G version for the mobile connectivity.

With this new and improved Box app, though, perhaps that won't be necessary. The Box app saves designated files and folders to the iPhone or iPad so they are available locally even when you can't find an Internet connection. Once connectivity is reestablished, any changes or updates will be synced between the offline and cloud versions of the files--and Box provides a notification to warn you if someone else has also updated the same file.

The concept of syncing data offline on the iPad is not new. Memeo, a Box.net competitor, has already had offline file syncing to the iPad with the Memeo Connect Reader app. However, the Memeo app syncs with Google Docs cloud storage, and is only available on the iPad.

The free Box cloud storage service is similar to what Google Docs provides. Users must create a Box.net account, and can store up to 1Gb of files online at no cost. However, Box.net has a max file size of only 25Mb--a tenth of the max file size on Google Docs. Users can purchase 10Gb or more of storage space, and increased file sizes of 1Gb or more starting at US$9.95 per month.

Levie sums up "Mobile is going to get even hotter as businesses of all sizes recognize the value in making their information and processes more extensible by moving them to the cloud."

The new Box app helps bridge the transition from local storage to cloud data by making the cloud data available even if the cloud is not. It also has a caching feature that helps load files faster--reducing broadband data consumption and improving battery life.

The updated Box app will be available soon through iTunes. Box is also working on Android and BlackBerry 6 OS compatible apps.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computingproductivityinternetstorageiphone appsiphone 4

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?