Box is already incredibly popular, with around 25 million users and 225,000 companies using it, including many Fortune 500 companies. Box offers a wealth of features and gives you a generous 10GB of free storage. Keep your eyes peeled because this can sometimes increase depending on Box promotions throughout the year. The Box app for Windows 8 makes it even easier to store, manage, and work with all your files and documents from your PC desktop.
The advantages of using a service like Box include the ability to access to all your files at all times, to always have the most up-to-date information about your business and to review projects and leave feedback on the go. And of course, if you’re a manager or team leader you can always keep tabs on the latest work from your team. This is particularly important for those that have large mobile workforces scattered across different regions or countries, although if your budget permits, you may be better off with a cloud-based collaboration app such as eXo Platform, Igloo Software, or Zoho Docs.
Open the Box
The Windows 8 Box app allows you to enjoy all of the advantages of Box on your PC. With the Box desktop app you can access, view, edit, share and manage files directly on your Windows PC.
You can upload multiple images, videos and files and share files and folders as links with your Windows contacts. You can also invite colleagues to share folders and leave comments on files for them and search content in your Box account using your desktop Windows Search feature.
If you’re a fan of desktop alerts, you can pin Box tiles to your Start screen to see live updates on files that colleagues are making. The desktop app takes advantage of other Windows 8 features, too, such as pinch-and-zoom support, and the ability to manage files and folders with batch move, copy and delete. The Windows 8 Box app lets you save files from other apps installed on your PC to your Box account and access Box files from within other apps using the Windows 8 File Picker.
Box of tricks
From a usability perspective, Box on Windows 8 is a simpler experience than using the web app. If you’ve ever used one of the Box mobile apps, then you’ll recognize the way the Windows 8 app handles things straight away. The way it organizes the files into Recent and Updated is more organized and it remains easily accessible but discreet at the same time.
Notifications in general are better done in the Windows 8 app, with notifications in the top right corner of your screen rather than the yellow text bar you get in the web app. Sharing is particularly well done in the desktop app because it’s fully integrated with your existing Windows contacts. Sharing via email or social media is quicker than it is within the web app.
One slight problem with the desktop app is that it can only open documents using the online Box web app or a third-party application. The Windows 8 Box app does not open files itself, although Windows will launch other apps such as Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Office in order to open documents on your PC instead.
This is quite inconvenient because the app then becomes a tool simply for viewing and organizing files rather than actually accessing the content within them. However, as long as you have an internet connection and web browser, it will automatically open any files you want to access in Box fairly seamlessly.
Overall, the experience of using Box on the Windows 8 desktop app is cleaner, quicker, and more organized than using it on the web. The inability to open files within the app is quite limiting but if you’re a heavy Box user and you want a more integrated experience on Windows 8, the desktop app is definitely worth using.
As I mentioned earlier, if your business’s file and information sharing needs stretch further than basic online storage, investigate a full collaboration or project management solution, which have extra features such as internal social networking, task management, messaging, as well as document management.