AH Tech Talk: Can Notes from Box Compete With Google Drive's Docs

One thing you can say about Mobile devices is that they have given us entirely new Vocabulary Words, such as smartphone, Phablet, or shortened words such as App for Application, and a completely new set of Acronyms, PPI, FFC, CDMA, GSM, HSPA, LTE, etc. Some words take on a new and different meaning in the mobile world, such as the word "Cloud". If you would ask your Mother what a Cloud is, she would look at you like you were crazy and point up to the sky, but if you ask someone in the technical community, or young adult on the street, they would tell you that a Cloud is used for data storage.

As defined in the "Cloud Computing For Dummies" series of books:

Cloud computing is the next stage in the Internet's evolution, providing the means through which everything — from computing power to computing infrastructure, applications, business processes to personal collaboration — can be delivered to you as a service wherever and whenever you need.

And that is the main advantage of Cloud Computing, your information is stored on the Cloud and you can access it from anywhere - home, work, the bus, on vacation, whenever you want and wherever you want, on any device.  You are no longer bound to disks or thumb drives - simply save your information or project, get up and leave and when you decide to work with that project again, open it up on any device and pick up right where you left off.

Even before the Cloud became popular, there were always applications to take notes or jot down a quick idea, sort of as a reminder to do something later - think of these Note Apps as sticky notes on steroids.  These tools were excellent for managing day-to-day activities and saving rich media content, but also exceptional for organizing tasks.  Evernote was probably the most well-known note-taking application and many smartphone and tablet users swore by it, while OneNote was the other widely used application as well as PhatPad.  Earlier this year, Google muscled its way into this group by updating its old Notebook service and came out with Google Keep.

The new Google Keep is gaining in popularity with Google users in their ecosystem, it allows you to:

- Keep track of your thoughts via notes, lists and photos
- Add reminders to important notes and be reminded through Google Now
- Have voice notes transcribed automatically
- Use widgets to capture thoughts quickly
- Color-code your notes to help find them later
- Swipe to archive things you no longer need
- Turn a note into a checklist by adding checkboxes
- Use your notes from anywhere - they are safely stored in the cloud and available on the web at http://keep.google.com and via the Google Keep app in the Chrome Web Store.

As with any new application idea, there is always someone coming out with a new product, claiming it is better, and such is the case with Box Notes, a service unveiled by Box. Box is a cloud storage company that decided to create an application called Box Notes so that users of Box could create content from within its own platform, something that other cloud service providers are trying to get in on. It has a planned release sometime in 2014 and competition will be tough, as current "Note" programs improve and new ones pop up.

We can use Microsoft Word or Google Docs, but with Box Notes, Box wants to bring it all under one Cloud, theirs, to allow the user to create, collaborate, and store your files all within its own platform. It is a great idea, but soon to tell if it will impact Google's Keep's growing popularity. Box Notes has some serious limitations it will have to overcome; such as users cannot export Box Notes files from the Box service, once created in the Box, it must stay there. Box Notes will not import or open up .doc files, nor can you open a .boxnotes file in any other platform. It is only going to be available on the desk PC platform at first, with a mobile version in the works...what good is using a Cloud, if you are unable to use it on your mobile device?

I think Box Notes will have to come a long way before it does any damage to Google Keep, especially being restricted to only PC users, as we are turning away from the PC and heading towards tablets and smartphones.

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Cory McNutt

Senior Staff Writer
Cory has written for Androidheadlines since 2013 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Cory has a background in Accounting and Finance and worked for the FBI in the past. From there he pursued his Masters in English Literature. Cory loves Android and Google related technology and specializes in Smartphone Comparisons on our site. Contact him at [email protected]om
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