Box has taken a swing at Google Docs and Office 365 today by launching Box Notes on its iPhone and iPad apps. The service, much like Google Docs, allows users to collaborate on word processing documents in real time.
David Still, Box’s Vice President of Mobile Products, highlighted Box Notes’s features in a blog post announcing the new feature, but it seems like users that need lightweight word-processing features could also see their needs met by Notes. The company launched the feature for people using Box’s desktop web interface last month, but this is the first time that Notes has made its way onto a mobile platform.
This is a key move for Box, especially as it tries to compete with Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive to help businesses store their files online. If Box can offer an online collaboration suite alongside its encrypted storage, it could draw in users who otherwise might have chosen Google Apps. This feature also seems like an attempt to pull users away from Office 365 and especially Office for iPad, which launched earlier this year to a very favorable reception.
Box CEO and Mercer Island High School graduate Aaron Levie criticized Microsoft in a blog post earlier this year over its policy of only allowing Office for iPad users to directly access documents from OneDrive, and not competitors like Box. Box Note seems like a play to combat getting frozen out of Microsoft Office by creating an alternate set of tools for business users.
Android users interested in getting their hands on the feature will have to wait a little bit longer. Still said in his blog post that the new feature will be coming to Box’s Android app “later this summer.”
Today’s announcement comes as Box continue to try and find the right time for its IPO. The company filed earlier this year, right as tech stocks began to tumble. Last week, reports surfaced saying that the company is looking for additional outside financing before going public in order to have more control over when it makes its offering.
iOS users can download the Box app for free from the App Store.