SAN FRANCISCO: Cloud storage and collaboration firm Box has unveiled a revamped mobile offering after use of the firm's mobile applications more than doubled in a year, as more employees choose to bring their own devices to work.
The firm, which has 20 million individual users, unveiled the redesign of its app lineup on stage at its annual BoxWorks conference, attended by V3. It said it had undertaken this work as forty percent of Box traffic now comes from mobile devices.
Box's manager of mobile applications, Martin Destagnol – whose productivity app Folders was bought and integrated into Box in May – said that the new design went beyond a simple user interface (UI) change. "A great user experience should delight you. It's not about the features, it's about how you interact with them, the visual design and it giving you a way to be more efficient in your work," he said.
Destagnol showed off the app's various improvements, including better PDF and PowerPoint presentation support in addition to progressive image loading to reduce the app's hunger for data.
The app also now supports offline document access and will be available later this year on iOS. While Box did not give a firm date for releases on Android and Windows tablets, the company's co-founder and CFO Dylan Smith told V3 that while Android in particular posed a technical challenge, it is one that Box is rising to.
"[Development is] certainly becomes more complicated," he said. "It comes down to choosing which devices are being most heavily used globally. It's not quite as seamless as building for iOS, but as a mobile-first company we're doing as much as we can to provide a cross-platform experience on as many devices as possible."
Quocirca analyst Clive Longbottom told V3 that Box would have to make its mobile experience consistent as soon as possible. "If you have a proper BYOD environment you have a bunch of people happy with Box on iOS, then you have some poor guy on Android saying, ‘I'd like to be able to do that but I don't want to buy an iPad'," he explained. "They have to get that experience to everybody quickly."
Box currently claims to be integrated into 180,000 businesses worldwide, including 97 percent of businesses found on the Fortune 500 list of biggest companies.
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