As Cloud Storage Is Heating Up, Box and Dropbox Give Android Users a Treat

February 24, 2012
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Android CloudCompetition in the cloud storage arena is reaching a boiling point, with all major players announcing new features, more storage, and grand plans for the future.

Quick recap: Apple will bake iCloud directly into OS X Mountain Lion, Google Drive is finally coming out of vaporware, and Microsoft will make SkyDrive ubiquitous, by integrating in with the upcoming Windows 8. Now, cloud storage specialists Box and Dropbox take the stage, announcing (nearly at the same time) updates for their Android apps.

Box for Android gets facelift, users lured with 50GB of free storage

Cloud storage service Box (previously known as Box.net) has just released an updated Android app, featuring improved collaboration tools, a sleeker look, support for Android 4.0, and a nicer, ICS-inspired UI.

The new Box app will let you share and edit documents from your Android device, add comments to files, and invite people to collaborate. Another interesting addition is the ability to batch-upload files directly from your SD card and to save files from the cloud to the SD.

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Box has also worked hard to make the new Box for Android app prettier and snappier. The app supports Ice Cream Sandwich, but, don’t worry, it will run on the vast majority of older Android versions, as well. No matter what flavor you use, the app will sport a better, ICS-inspired user interface, which now supports the Action bar.

Now, if the new features and the pretty looks haven’t impressed you, Box has one more perk up its sleeve. Through March 23, every user that logs into the Box for Android app gets bribed with 50GB of free storage, just like that.

Dropbox adds automatic photo-sync to Android app

Cloud storage services are such divas! Not to be outshone by Box, bigger rival Dropbox announced that they too have some goodies lined up for Android users. As TechCrunch notes, Dropbox is sitting on a pile of cash ($250 million to be precise) that the startup raised last year, and now, it appears to be putting some of that money to use.

Dropbox’ new Android client will gain the ability to automatically sync the photos from your smartphone to your Dropbox account. Take a picture, and in a few seconds, you will find it on your computer. The Google Plus app does something similar, but Google’s product shrinks large photos, while Dropbox will keep them unchanged.

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Hi-res photos eat up a lot of space, so Dropbox will also give users more free space in the cloud. Up until now, the free plan gave you 2GB of space; soon, you’ll get up to 5GB (Box gives you 5GB for free, too), which will be allocated to you gradually, as you add more photos.

Android finally comes first

As a side observation, it’s good to see that app developers finally give Android the respect it deserves. Both Box and Dropbox have released their updated apps on Android first, with iOS to follow. Hmm, maybe it has something to do with the fact that Android now runs on more than 50% of all smartphones?

How about you? What’s your favorite cloud storing service? What do you run on your Android?

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