Collaboration and cloud storage company Box today announced the launch of its brand new app for Windows Phone. Despite the operating system's relatively tiny market share, Box said a Windows Phone app was one of the top requests from customers. "Big, medium, or small platforms — we need to be on every platform our customers want to use," VP of Platform Engineering Matthew Self said. Some competitors like Dropbox don't yet have a Windows Phone app offering, while Microsoft's SkyDrive app is pretty great, but offers few collaboration features.
Box designed its Windows Phone app from the ground up with lots of cooperation from Microsoft along the way. The app abides by Windows Phone's "Metro" design language, and lets you pin documents to your home screen and see when colleagues or friends most recently updated them via Live Tile updates. Aside from its Metro-fied look and the ability to pin tiles, the app is pretty much atag parity with the company's offering for iOS and Android, which launched in 2008 and 2010, respectively. This means that you can batch upload photos and videos, share files and folders, invite people to shared folders, search all your documents, and protect your stuff with a passcode lock. There's no video streaming on any of Box's mobile apps, which offer 5 GB free of cloud storage, but we hear it's in the pipeline.
"We need to be on every platform our customers want to use."
Box has frequently updated its mobile apps, which are now used by 40% of Box users, and recently launched OneCloud for iOS and Android, a suite of applications that all work with Box storage. OneCloud doesn't yet work with Windows Phone, but plans to integrate it down the road. "It takes time to build up partners, and the Windows Phone ecosystem isn't as far along," Self said.
As a side-note to the Windows Phone app launch, Box also announced a partnership with Qualcomm that will pre-bundle Box's app, plus 50 GB of free cloud storage, with Snapdragon-bearing Android phones, Windows Phones, and Windows 8 computers beginning in the "near future." Box hopes to acquire a ton of users with the move and better compete with SugarSync, which comes preloaded on various Android devices and Lenovo computers.