Box overhauls iOS, web apps with hints to encourage collaboration

The app upgrades are the first major update from the enterprise cloud business since its customer conference, BoxWorks, in September.

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Box is rolling out a number of revisions for both is iOS app and web channel portal with a focus on encouraging and streamlining workplace collaboration.

Starting on mobile, the new version of Box for iPhone and iPad has been retooled for iOS 8, most prominently with support for Touch ID. Box users equipped with iPhone 5S, 6, and 6 Plus will be able to use Touch ID to login to the Box iOS app in lieu of a passcode.

Both iOS and the web channel are getting a new "Favorites" functionality, allowing users to mark folders and files for quicker access with one tap.

But the web channel is getting even more noticeable user interface enhancements, including a new core navigation header and an inbox-like notifications experience.

Box is also tacking on two additional methods for facilitating collaboration with external partners. The first is "collaboration whitelists." IT admins can manage trusted domains for collaboration, enabling employees send and accept invites with vetted organizations.

The second option giving more control to IT but still meant to encourage collaboration consists of reports about how content flows between employees and external partners.

Chris Yeh, Box's senior vice president of product and platform, promised in a blog post on Tuesday that these "improvements are the first step in Box's journey to design an enterprise software experience that's more streamlined, immersive and built for the way we work today."

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The app upgrades are the first major update from the enterprise cloud business since its customer conference, BoxWorks, in September.

Among the introductions then were Box Workflow with automation and metadata features for running business processes on the Box platform along with Box for Industries, which tailors the Box portfolio to more than a dozen different verticals ranging from government to media and entertainment.

Healthcare has long been at the forefront of Box's industry-specific strategy, which was reinforced with the recent acquisition of  MedXT, a Y Combinator-backed startup specializing in cloud-based medical image viewing, sharing and collaboration.

Box for iOS v3.5 is available through iTunes. The app itself is free. Personal accounts with up to 10 gigabytes of cloud storage space are also up for grabs without charge. Work accounts for teams and businesses start at $5 per user per month. Enterprise-grade account rates are available by quote.

Image via Box

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