Our Rating: 50 /100 ( )
Box.net iPad App
The Box.net app brings the power of the cloud to the iPad. If you’re unfamiliar with Box.net, Box.net allows users to upload, share, view, and download files uploaded onto Box.net’s cloud network. Once uploaded, private users or groups of users may securely access the same files, upload, edit, comment, and update files as they remain on the cloud. While the current version lacks many crucial features, Box.net aims to bring the easy accessibility of documents (text, presentations, spreadsheets, etc…) to extend beyond traditional computers and onto the iPad.
At the moment, Box.net has brought us an app in the form of gourmet slices of bread, but has left out the meat. In the version we tested (2.1.1), one of the largest gripes we had is that the Box.net app lacks local caching and your documents can only be accessed while connected to the internet. This presents a large challenge for WiFi-only iPad owners where our access is ultimately limited to where we have a stable WiFi connection.
As an iPad launch day app, the current version of Box.net’s iPad app has limited features that are actually useful. While you can still view and read Word docs, PowerPoint/Keynotes, photos, spreadsheets, .PDFs, etc…, you can’t do much else than simply viewing. For now, the files remain static and the ability to create new documents, download, edit, and modify the documents in anyway is unavailable.
The design and user interface for the most part is flawless. Although with limited features, the app really can’t offer too much else than the sidebar of files and the option to add user comments – the interface is cleanly designed, easy to use, and will make browsing files easy as soon as they’re available.
On the plus side, the App is free to download and the Box.net corporate website offers a free lite version to users (maximum 1GB of storage, 25MB max per file) and monthly fee based packages are available for more demanding users.
According to Box.net’s CEO Aaron Levie, cache, update, and creation features to make Box.net a hit are on the roadmap and the young startup does plan on releasing these features at some point. But for now, Box.net remains a large marble slab and ways away from becoming the Statue of David.
For users looking to use their Box.net files offline, the only way I could do this was to copy and paste over to the Evernote App. But this only works with text files and does strip any formatting.