Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Box for Windows 8: Fast and Fluid File Sharing

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Box makes it incredibly easy to connect with your content, no matter what device, platform or location you’re working from. In fact, Box provides the broadest platform coverage compared to any other cloud content management provider today with native apps for everyone – from Android to iOS to BlackBerry. Today, we’re excited to continue that tradition with the introduction of our newest app, Box for Windows 8.

Box for Windows 8 is a unique member of our mobile app family – it includes all the features you love from our other mobile apps, plus it takes advantage of built-in platform functionality to create a deeply integrated experience with the operating system that’s exclusive to Windows 8.

Let me walk you through some of the features of Box for Windows 8 that really make it stand out.

Browsing your files is fast and fluid

Of course our app lets you drill down through your folders, search your entire account (with the Windows 8 Search Charm) and see individual file details. But we’ve added something new, too: when you’re inside a large folder with lots of content, try making a pinch-to-zoom gesture. You’ll get a nice summary view that lets you jump to any letter, date or size (when sorted by name, date and size respectively) – built using the Semantic Zoom functionality on Windows 8. This will definitely come in handy when hunting for that one file starting with “W.”

Inside a complex folder, using three different navigation tools: Semantic Zoom, sibling folder tree on the left and a folder hierarchy dropdown off the top

Box as a fully integrated cloud file system

Windows 8 provides hooks for apps to act as a source for file picking (say, when choosing an attachment for an email or changing your profile picture) and file saving, so naturally we jumped at the chance to take advantage of these. Box for Windows 8 acts as both a file source and a file target, so all your Windows 8 apps can make use of content stored on Box without any additional work by other developers – meaning you can grab a file from Box to attach to an email OR save an attachment someone sent you directly to your Box account.

Of course, any good file system in the cloud should provide the basics of file management, so our app has all the standard features of creating folders, uploading multiple files, moving/copying items, renaming files, downloading files to disk and more. Access these options from the app bar (swiping up from the bottom of the screen or right-clicking anywhere) in Windows 8.

One more really cool feature – you can actually open files from the Box app directly for editing, and any edits you make to them while outside the app will be saved back up to Box when you switch back.

Notice the prompt to switch back to Box after editing – your changes will be uploaded back to Box

As you can see, you have many choices when it comes to getting your files in and out of Box on Windows 8. You can access your Box files directly from inside any app (like pulling an attachment in Mail), browse the Box app itself, and even edit a document from Box and save it right back into the cloud. All seamlessly integrated into your workflow inside Windows 8!

Stay on top of all the activity in your account

Live Tiles are a defining characteristic of Windows 8, and our app wouldn’t be complete without them. We took one of the defining characteristics of Box – the updates feed – and married that to Live Tiles to bring recent updates right to your attention on the Windows 8 Start screen.

Glance and go at your Start screen – the latest Box activity will show up automatically

We didn’t stop there, either. You can also pin individual files or folders right to your start screen as Secondary Tiles. We’ve also made use of a lock screen badge, so you can choose to show the number of updates you haven’t seen yet right on your lock screen – next to your mail, calendar and clock.

Sharing and collaborating plays well with apps

Box is all about collaboration – when it comes time to share your files with others to work on, we give you all the options you’ll need. Add collaborators via email addresses (even choosing right from the People app) and you can even set which level of permissions they’ll have – upload only, or preview and download only? It’s all up to you.

Sharing via links is made even better with Windows 8 thanks to the Share Charm. Now you can share a link with any other Windows 8 app that supports receiving them: that means you can share right into an email with the Mail app, or post a public file to social networks by Sharing with the People app.

Share with any app that supports accepting links

Security built in, of course

We’re always thinking about how to keep your content secure – even while allowing quick, easy access from anywhere. Just like our other mobile apps, we brought SSO login support and a passcode lock feature to Box for Windows 8. Rest safe knowing that you’re using company credentials (that can be revoked if you ever lose your device) and that you can protect your content from curious fingers if you happen to lose your device.

Robust Language Support

All around the globe, we’re seeing more businesses than ever turn to Box for simple, secure sharing and collaboration. That’s why Box for Windows 8 has built-in support for French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese, with additional language support coming in the future. So whether sharing content in Paris, Munich or Lisbon, you’ll be able to use Box in the language of your choice.

As you can see, Box for Windows 8 makes full use of all the exciting new platform functionality of the operating system, and we’re excited to give you another way to access, manage and collaborate on your files in the cloud.
Windows 8 can be installed on any PC-compatible hardware. Once you have it your device, get our app from the Store for free and give it a try. We look forward to hearing what you think on Twitter (@BoxHQ) or in our feedback forums.

Need another reason to try our app? How about free storage? For a limited time, we’re also giving away 25GB of storage plus Box Sync (for use in the Desktop half of Windows 8 ) on any HP or Dell Windows 8 device, and a 50GB account when you sign up for Box from the Samsung ATIV Tab. Full details on the offers and how you get the account upgrades can be found on our support site.

Enjoy your new PCs + Box!

  • lonemavericks

    have not got 25gb . Does the signup have to be from a new hp windows 8 machine or any hp machine running windows 8

  • seesaw

    Why can’t Box gives us Box users free 25GB storage who don’t use HP or Dell branded Windows 8 Pro PC desktop computer owners??

  • DazedAndConfused

    For the love of whatever you find holy – when will you listen to your potential users and get sync client for Linux rather than tweaking eye candy while claimng to be cross-platform? Have you not seen the threads on your own support forum? https://support.box.com/entries/21546216-linux-sync

  • Abhinav

    First of all: lies. You have no Linux support. Secondly, this app will always be pathetic until it incorporates desktop sync.

    • Epic

      As a migrant from Dropbox (business security reasons) with it’s impeccable desktop sync app, I’m not sure Box could get it right even if they do incorporate Sync into it. They seem to spend a lot of money on the things that aren’t so important to people and not enough money on core functionality like a robust and reliable desktop sync capability.