Today Box has unveiled an online word processor called Box Notes, in a move that could will undoubtedly help Box in the cloud storage war. Additionally, Box’s services are now more on par with that of Google Drive, too. Box Notes looks to have a fairly mature feature set right out the gate, including: collaborative and offline editing, version history, and mobile apps for iOS and Android. Box has been primarily focused on the enterprise market to date, so Box Notes offers it a lot more legroom for customers.
With Box Notes, the service can help to differentiate itself from competitors that offer storage and syncing only, without productivity tools, one example being Dropbox. It also allows Box to close the gap between itself and Google Drive, which offers a breadth of storage capabilities with a built-in productivity suite. It’s hard to compare the strengths and benefits without seeing all of the cloud hosting providers side by side. Here is a refresher of the three mentioned in this article, but be sure to check out our full chart comparison of all the major cloud providers here.
Dropbox gives 2GB available for its free account with a 300MB limitation per file for its web interface, none for desktop. This is less storage in comparison to other cloud services that typically give out at least 5GB. Dropbox is very developer friendly and consumer friendly with an open API and has a friendly user interface and great for sharing. It also lets you view images as a gallery which can be very useful. It has Facebook integration and works with Facebook Groups, which can be very useful for sharing files among open communities. Large storage pricing is on the expensive side with 500GB translating to $499/year.
Good for business and cross collaboration, Box is very well known. It is very easy to share and create groups, set admin controls and set access permissions. Box is also integrated with popular CRM systems such as Salesforce. You can also preview files before download, which not every provider does. File formats supported for the viewing feature include PDF, Powerpoint, Microsoft Word, and Photoshop. Box is ideal for collaboration and small business use. Box Notes has the potential to become a major incentive to potential buyers once it launches.
Best integration with Gmail which can make it very convenient for collaboration (especially if your company uses Google apps). Real-time collaboration can also be very useful, which is possible on the go with integration into Android and IOS. Pricing is fairly competitive with additional storage for $2.49/mo per additional 25GB . However, Google Drive does have a looser terms of service agreement when it comes to privacy. There have been many mentions about the lack of privacy. Google’s automatic conversion of your files to Google Doc files may also be annoying to some. You have to be comfortable completely living inside the mothership.