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A boxful of awesome: Box.net iPhone

Update 2: Box.net will work with first generation iPod Touch units. The team is going to push an update very soon to make this visible on the app description page. You can download the program right now and it is fully compatible with all iPhone and iPod Touch units.

Update: Box.net is looking into why its new app is not working with first generation iPod Touch units and hopes to push out an update soon. We'll keep you posted!

I love Box.net -- the online file storage system that makes it easy to store and share files with other users quickly and easily. A couple of years ago, TUAW wrote up how to use Box.net as an iDisk (and this still works), but now the Box team has made it even easier to access your files while on the go, with the new Box.net iPhone app.

The app, which is compatible with the iPhone and the second generation iPod Touch (sorry 1st Gen touch users!), is simply awesome. Box.net already had an iPhone friendly mobile interface at i.box.net, but while you could access some files from that page, you couldn't play back media and document viewing was more limited. The new application means you can play back audio and video (assuming the file is compatible with the iPhone 2.1's firmware support for QuickTime), view PDF or Office files, view photos, and upload photos from your iPhone or iPod Touch directly to Box.net.

Even nicer, the Box.net app integrates directly with your address book, so you can share a folder or individual document with a contact, just by clicking the "Share" button and selecting the contact from the address book. The application also notifies you of any updates or changes made to your box, which is great for individuals who collaborate with other users using a Box.net account.

I have a free Box.net account (which limits me to 1 GB of storage space and puts a 25 MB cap on file sizes), but I was able to access all my files and documents with ease. On my iPod Touch, Box.net loaded PDF files faster than some other tools I have used for PDF viewing, though I did find that network activity did impact overall speed. When the bridged router I use with my non-802.11n devices was in heavy use, it could take quite some time to load a large PDF. When the G router was idle, load time was almost non-existent, even for 8 or 9 MB files.

I don't have an iPhone, so I cannot vouch for EDGE or 3G speeds -- but over WiFi, speed was solid.

The interface of this app, as you can see from the gallery, is just superb. It perfectly matches both the Box.net website and the iPhone user interface guidelines. Maneuvering through files was a cinch and I love the integration with the address book for sharing files or folders. Being able to upload photos directly to Box.net is also pretty great.

If there was anything that could be on my wishlist, it would be the ability to upload other types of tiles to Box.net as well. Of course, you can always e-mail uploads to Box.net, so this isn't an absolute necessity.

Box.net is free and available from the App Store now.



Update 2: Box.net will work with first generation iPod Touch units. The team is going to push an update very soon to make this visible on...