For a company already using the Box cloud storage and collaboration software on laptops and desktops, adding the mobile Box app is a logical next step. Team members can enhance their productivity by using Box anywhere and on any device.
Companies may be leery of using the Box app, though, wondering if it will meet their data storage needs as successfully as the web version of the software. We’ll explain how the Box mobile apps work and whether they have the desired security measures.
What Is Box Mobile Anyway?
Box is a cloud-based software package that allows for automated syncing of files and folders. Box users can use the software to collaborate on projects and file creation, too.
Box mobile consists of the Android and iOS apps for the Box software. When paired with the web browser version of Box, these apps will give users the ability to make use of Box on any device.
Features of Box
Box has a number of key features that make it a popular option for data storage backup and synchronization. Here are some of the best features of Box, available on both the web browser version of Box and the mobile app versions.
- Organized Workflow: Through Box, users can collaborate on files. They can leave comments for others or assign tasks to others. If desired, users can receive notifications when someone makes an editing change or leaves a comment on a specific file.
- Files Are Always Available: Using the file synching in Box allows team members to stay organized. When everyone in the organization uses Box, all files are always available, which keeps projects on track. Files don’t become lost in an email chain.
- Sharing Files: Not only can all of the team members gain access to files stored in Box, but they can share files with others outside of the organization.
- Ease of Use: Box is equally easy to use with the web-based version of the software and with the mobile apps. It has a notoriously basic interface, meaning users can begin using it successfully in very little time.
- Works Across Multiple Devices: Box users can use their existing accounts on Box mobile apps without purchasing new subscriptions.
- Multiple Integration Options: Box integrates with hundreds of other apps, allowing users to access Box features while working inside another app. Integrations between Box and Trello, Slack, and DocuSign are extremely popular.
How Box Mobile Works
The number of features users will have available with the mobile apps depends in part on the subscription tier for the account. To start with the mobile version of Box, users will need to subscribe to one of the tiers.
When purchasing a Box subscription for a business, users can select among four different pricing tiers. Each of these four tiers includes mobile access as part of the regular price. Each level also offers a 14-day free trial period. However, the version of Box made for non-business use does have a completely free version available.
Within any of the four business tiers, Box requires a minimum of three paid users per account. The business subscription tiers of Box include the following.
- Starter: The Starter tier allows for a maximum of 10 users on the account and offers up to 100 GB of storage in the cloud. It costs $5 per month per user when paid annually or $7 per month per user when paid monthly.
- Business: The Business tier offers an unlimited number of users and an unlimited amount of storage. It adds data loss protection and advanced security reporting versus the Starter version. It costs $15 per month per user when paid annually and $20 per month per user when paid monthly.
- Business Plus: The Business Plus tier offers the same features as the Business tier. It then adds advanced administrative controls and user activity tracking over the Business tier. The Business Plus tier costs $25 per month per user when paid annually and $33 per month per user when paid monthly.
- Enterprise: The Enterprise tier includes the same features as the Business Plus tier. It then adds the possibility for HIPAA and HITECH compliance for data stored in Box, as well as document watermarking. It costs $35 per month per user when paid annually and $47 per user per month when paid monthly.
Mobile Security Controls in Box
Users who sign up for the Business, Business Plan, or Enterprise tiers will have access to Box’s mobile security controls feature.
This feature gives administrators the ability to control how team members access the data stored in Box through their mobile devices. Administrators can manage these mobile security settings through the Admin Console page in Box. Some of the options include:
- Encryption: If the mobile device supports data encryption, Box will work with these encryption settings to protect data. If the mobile device cannot encrypt data on its own, Box cannot encrypt the data on the mobile device. But it will prevent other apps on that device from accessing the data stored in Box.
- File Storage: Administrators can determine whether mobile Box users can save files to the mobile device for offline use. If administrators prevent offline use of data, users can only access the files stored in the Box cloud.
- Printing and Copying: Using these security settings, administrators can prevent mobile users from printing files or copying and pasting data from Box files into other apps.
Individual mobile users also have some options for controlling their mobile security settings, including the ability to require a Box app-specific passcode after a period of inactivity. Users can choose to enact a two-step login process to Box as well.
Mobile Device Trust in Box
With the Enterprise tier of Box, Device Trust is available for mobile users. With Device Trust inside the Box app, security personnel can ensure that those using mobile devices must follow the same security protocols as every other user.
Any mobile user who doesn’t have the proper setup to follow the Device Trust protocols will not be able to access the company’s Box account.
Example 1: Using the Android Version of the Box App
Those using the Android Box app have access to nearly all of the same features that they’ll use in the web browser version of Box. Here are some of the primary ways users will perform tasks inside the Android Box mobile app.
Within the Android app for Box, users will have access to the same folder structure they use in the desktop version. When users open the Box app, they will see all of the folders used to organize the files stored in the cloud.
Tap on any folder to see any of the files stored inside the folder. To add a new folder, tap the plus icon toward the bottom of the screen.
Within the Box Android app, users can perform various functions on the files stored inside the folders.
With the file displayed on the screen, tap the file name to open it and view it on the Android device’s screen. With the right editing app installed on the mobile device, a user can tap the Edit button along the top of the screen (a square icon with an arrow) to edit the file.
To perform other functions on the stored file, tap on the three vertical dots to the right of the file name. In the popup menu, users can choose from a variety of file manipulation options, including:
- Make available offline
Depending on the administrator’s security settings for the organization’s Box account, users may not see all of these options. They may see some additional options as well.
Collaborating on Files
It’s easy to collaborate on files through the mobile Android app for Box, as users will have almost the same set of features they’d have available in the browser version.
Start by sharing the file with others. With the file name on the screen, tap the three vertical dots to the right of the name and then tap on Share.
In the next window, the Box app will display the link to the shared file. Toward the bottom of the window, tap Edit Line Access to determine the parameters under which others can access the file.
Then tap the Send Link button along the top of the window to email the link to those who need access to the file for the collaboration.
When using the Android app for Box, it can be frustrating to have to work through a large number of files on a small screen.
The app can help users reduce the number of files being viewed by enabling the Collections feature. With Collections, users can create a group of important files and give the group a unique name. Rather than scrolling through multiple folders to find a particular file, the user can open Collections and find the file faster.
To store different types of files, users can create multiple Collections, which helps with organization.
Users can only store files that they own through the Collections feature. Any shared files inside a user’s Collections will be available to other Box users in the organization. But the other users cannot see another user’s list of Collections.
Example 2: Using the iOS Version of the Box App
The iOS Box app also provides nearly every feature available in the web browser version of Box. When starting with the iOS app for Box, here are some of the most common tasks available.
Those using the iOS app can create and use the same organizational folder structure they’d use with the Box web browser version. Open the Box app on the Apple mobile device to see all of the folders associated with the cloud storage account.
To create a new folder, tap on the plus icon in the upper right corner of the screen. From the popup menu, tap Create New Folder. This new folder will appear inside the folder that’s currently in view on the screen.
To perform functions on files stored in the Box account, scroll to the folder containing the files. To copy, move, or delete the file within the iOS app, tap on the file name and hold the finger on the screen (called a long press).
Users then will see a circle button appear to the left of all of the files in the folder. Tap on any of these buttons to select the associated file. Users can choose one or multiple files at the same time.
Then tap on Move or Copy along the bottom right of the screen to move the files to a new folder or copy them. To erase the files, tap on Delete at the bottom left of the screen.
Accessing Recent Files
To narrow the list of files in view, iOS app users can access the Recents feature. This feature will display the last 100 files the user viewed in the mobile Box app, making it easier to track down a file. This is especially useful versus scrolling through all of the folders associated with the Box account on the mobile device’s small screen.
From any folder window in the app, tap the Recents button along the bottom of the screen. The app then will display the recently accessed files.
Another option for iOS mobile device users to reduce the number of files and folders visible on the screen is through the Box Collections feature.
Users can choose to add files they own to Collections, almost creating a secondary storage area within the main Box storage. Files shared with individual users are available to add to Collections too. Users then can access their own Collections to narrow the number of files they can see, making it easier to track down a specific file.
Just create a Collections name to hold the files. Then add files to the individual Collections name. Users can create multiple Collections if desired.
Other Box users in the organization who have rights to these files will still be able to access them through the folder structure they’re already using. They will not be able to see other users’ Collections, though.
How to Get Started With Box Mobile
After choosing to start using a mobile version of Box, just follow a few simple steps to download the app.
Users don’t have to already have a subscription to Box to begin using one of the app versions of the software. They can sign up for a pricing tier directly from the mobile app.
They can use the mobile app and the web browser version simultaneously, but they can also use just the mobile app if they want.
Download the Android Version of Box
Users can download the free Box app for Android from the Google Play Store. As part of the installation process, users can select the pricing tier they want to use.
Click or tap the Install button on the Box download page in the Google Play Store.
Download the iOS version of Box
Users can visit the Apple App Store to download the free Box app for iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad. During the installation of the app, users can select the pricing tier they want to use.
Just tap or click the Get button, followed by the Install button, to start the download process in the Apple App Store.
Sign in to an Existing Account
After downloading the Box mobile app, it’s easy to sign in to an existing account. Just click or tap on the Log in button.
On the next screen, enter the email address associated with the account and tap or click Next. Then enter the password on the following screen.
For those who can’t remember their sign-in information, click or tap the Reset Password text to reset the account.
Sign up for a New Account
To sign up for a new account, tap or click the Create a Free Account text on the Box mobile app’s sign-in page.
On the next page, enter the email address to use with the account and the password to use with the account in the appropriate text boxes. Then click or tap the Sign up button.