Box rolled out new and improved apps for iPhone and iPad on Wednesday. Users probably have enough incentive to download the newest Box apps just to take advantage of the latest features, but Box also sweetened the pot by offering 50GB of free cloud storage for life for users who download the new apps during the next 30 days.
According to a Box blog post, the new app has a simpler, more intuitive interface, faster document rendering, and progressive loading of photos to allow for faster previewing and scrolling.
A slicker user interface is nice, but the real improvements in the Box app are in the underlying productivity. Box has always been about enabling users to access and share all of their data from any platform no matter where they are. The previous Box app technically achieved that goal to an extent, but the new app makes it much more fluid and seamless.
You can now perform a real-time search for files stored in your Box account from the iPhone or iPad apps, and you can conduct full text searches within documents. Box added the ability to move, copy, or delete multiple files at once from the app, and linked the app with the OneCloud gallery of partner apps along with recommendations for apps tailored for the file type you're viewing.
The new Box app has native preview capabilities for over 100 file types, and includes high-fidelity rendering of PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, photos, and videos. I opened a Word document in the previous version, and it worked but the formatting was a little jacked and the highlighting from the original document was missing. Once I updated to the new version of the app, I was able to open the exact same document from within the Box app and the look and format of the information was exactly as it should be.
The offer of 50GB of free storage is a generous one. Most cloud storage services offer some amount of storage capacity for free, but even the most liberal of the bunch generally only offer 10GB or 15GB. 50GB is a pretty substantial amount of space and more than enough for most people to be able to store documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos and videos in the cloud where they can be accessed on the go, or easily shared with others.
If you already have a Box account and the Box iPhone or iPad apps, make sure you download the new version and check out what it has to offer. If you have an iPhone or iPad, and you don't already have a Box account, this new app and the 50GB free storage offer are as good a reason as you're going to find for giving it a try.