Those of you who have been working in the cloud for a while should be familiar with Box.net, an early entry into the now-crowded online storage/file sharing space.
I recently had a nice chat with Community Manager Sean Lindo about what they have coming down the road (and about how we’ve been using Box.net at my day job). One of the projects he mentioned was a new iPhone application that they were waiting to clear the App Store.
I have to admit, I was a bit ho hum at the news. Everyone is doing an iPhone app these days. The app was released today. I downloaded it this afternoon, expecting a rather basic file browser.
I didn’t give the concept enough credit. The reality is better than that.
The killer feature of the app that separates it from being just a ho hum file browser is its ability to preview files. It’s not just images. Documents and PDF files render quite nicely in the application, just as they do for email attachments in the phone’s mail application. This will be very handy for those times I need to review a document while traveling. If you tap on a MP3, it launches the iPod application on the phone and streams the file.
The app continually monitors your Box.net account while it’s running, so any changes on either the phone or the server are reflected instantly. Nice.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a way to reorganize files from the app (move/copy between folders) but you can share files with email contacts and upload photos from the phone’s camera.
If you already have a Box.net account, the app will let you get more use out of it. If you don’t have an account, it looks like Box is offering folks a free 1 GB account if you sign up from the iPhone. Otherwise, plans start at $7.95/month for 5 GB of space.