Online collaboration service Box.net is pushing out an update to its iPhone and iPad app that should make its business users happy. The software is getting offline file storage, which in a call with CNET on Monday, Box's CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie said had been the most requested feature by Box users.
Files that are flagged to be saved to the device can be accessed even when users aren't near a data connection, which Levie cited as a frequent occurrence for Box users on the Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad. Box has also built an updating tool within the app that alerts users when a file they've saved for offline use has been updated with a newer version online. After asking if a user wants to update, it can then sync up with the latest changes so that users do not inadvertently use an older copy of that file.
On the iPhone, Box's app has also been set up to work with the fast app-switching feature in iOS4, along with retina display support for iPhone 4 users. Other features coming in the next update include smart folder creation of files based on type, as well as a search tool. Levie says that business users will get the benefit of the company's more advanced search, which can cull through the information that's within stored files.
Going beyond Apple's hardware, Levie says Box is at work on both an Android app and one for BlackBerry users, both of which should be out by the end of the year. After that will be an app for Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform. Levie says Box has four full-time staffers who are now focused on the company's mobile apps, and that some 150,000 users have downloaded Box's iPhone version.