Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Box for Android 2.0: Preview Arrives on Mobile


Hot on the heels of our Box for Windows 8 announcement, I’d like to introduce a major upgrade to Box for Android, released today, that includes loads of new features that help streamline your workflow and do more with your content from the road.

See your files… without opening them!

Most notable in this release is the introduction of document preview capabilities on your mobile device, just like the preview you already love on the Box web app. Ever wanted to just peek at a document or flip through a slide deck without having to download the whole thing and wait for it to open in a third-party app? Now you don’t have to. Just stay right there on the file details screen and watch as the contents of the file get rendered right inside the Box app.

More than 75 different types of files can be previewed right on your Android device – Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, Adobe PDFs, Photoshop files, you name it!

Combine this with the ability to swipe left and right between files and you’ve got one very slick document browser. Since all the text is now readable (instead of just a file icon), finding the file you want doesn’t require you to open and close every file in a folder anymore. It works wonders on pictures, too – so now you also have a portable slideshow player for all those photos you’ve stored on Box!

Stay up to date with offline folders

Road warriors: you’ve asked us for the ability to save a whole folder for offline use, in addition to just single files. We decided to do even more. Not only can you now save a folder for offline use (encrypted on your device to keep your data safe), you can also see when it’s out of date. So if a colleague has dropped a last-minute addition to your sales arsenal or some modifications were made to that contract you were going to review on the plane, you’ll know before you go.

Enjoy peace of mind knowing that you have the latest info before you go offline, and stay ready for any WiFi-less situation.

Never lose your files in transit

Since you can now upload and download files in bulk, we wanted to provide an easy way to keep track of it all. The result: a full-fledged transfer manager.

This goes a lot further than just showing you progress bars. You can cancel pending transfers, retry ones that fail due to network problems and fix ones that encounter other types of issues. After transfers are complete, you can review the files in the list and navigate to them if they’re within Box. You can also dismiss entries with either a swipe or all at once.

Always know the status of your uploads and downloads – all it takes is just a swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Skip the browser – jump straight from email to Box

Have you ever received an email or text on your phone with a Box shared link, but tapping it led you to the mobile web browser instead of the app? When opening links to Box content, you should be able to use the app if you have it – so that’s why we gave our app the ability to send you right to the file or folder if you own it.


This is a huge time-saver – you don’t have to log into Box in the mobile web browser, and you don’t have to wait until you get to a desktop or laptop to try the link there. If you own the content and the URL looks like [*], we’ll take over and bring you right to the content it links to. No fuss – just get to your files and be productive!

Get descriptive with your content

A nifty feature of Box on the web is the ability to add descriptions to any file or folder. These appear alongside items while navigating, and are a great way to add more color to cryptically named folders like “CPX BPOP 23G” that can’t be named anything else for good reason. Descriptions also allow you to guide your collaborators along as they browse your shared folder. We brought these benefits to Box for Android so you can see and edit descriptions on anything you want.

Place your mark on a folder or file and it will show up right on top as you browse. We think you’ll find a lot of uses for this, so give it a shot by choosing to add one off of the Action Bar menu.

On top of all of the above features, we’ve made all the requisite bug fixes, performance enhancements and UI polish you’d expect – plus Korean localization to make the app even more accessible. All this adds up to a feature-packed upgrade we think you’re going to find invaluable. Get Box for Android 2.0 for free today over at the Google Play store, and let us know what you think on Twitter (@BoxHQ) or in our support forums. More details are available on the Box support site.

Go forth and do more on all your favorite mobile gadgets with Box!

  • Tom Bowers

    I was looking forward to the offline folder sync, but alas I synced a folder with .mp3 files in it and they all downloaded but then when you open one of the files in the app it downloads it again. That makes this feature totally useless as near as I can tell.

    • Simon Tan

      Hi Tom,

      Did you “download” or use the “Make available offline” option from the app? The “Make available offline” option is available from the menu overflow, and is the only way to get the notices when things are out of date. Note that this keeps the files encrypted and only accessible from the Box app – but when you do access them, it should be a quick operation to decrypt them for opening from local storage, and should not be a full download like you experienced.

      • John

        Two questions: How does it update me that files are out of date if I’m not connected online? Secondly, what happens if User A has content stored offline and while he is offline an admin terminates User A’s account. I presume User A will have access to these offline files until he connects back online. However, what happens exactly when User A connects online again? Is he locked out and is User’s A device wiped out? Does the same functionality extend to iOS and WindowsMobile?

  • comurc

    Is there no way to drop files in the offline folder on the phone so that they will upload and be available on other devices running Box Sync? That would be really useful. Being able to choose where the offline folders are stored would be good too.

  • May Tinh Khoa Hoc

    i like for androi

    i use and site

  • Jim Christie

    Is there a complete list of the file types that are available for preview on Android?