updated 04:10 pm EDT, Fri October 18, 2013
Boxie offers alternative to iOS Dropbox app
Over the past few years, the popularity of cloud storage has surged -- with Dropbox perhaps being the most ubiquitous offering. Dropbox has long offered a free iOS client, however it has yet to see an update for iOS 7 and is somewhat limited in features. Tapwings has taken this opportunity to release its own Dropbox client, known as Boxie: it offers a clean interface, easy-to-read typography and simple gesture commands.
The app's name, Boxie, shouldn't be confused with the business-oriented Dropbox competitor known as Box -- Boxie is a client for Dropbox only. The app's default view shows everything stored in the user's account, with unique icons to indicate what type of file or folder each item is. The list is sortable by name, date, size, file type, and (unlike the official Dropbox app) automatically groups similar file types together, regardless of the sort selection.
Swiping any item to the right reveals a list of file actions, including Bookmark, Rename, and Share, while swiping to the left brings up the delete command. Additionally, files can be moved around the interface by tapping and holding, then simply dragging and dropping the file to a new location. While only a minor feature, we preferred this method to Dropbox's method that requires several button hits.
Like Dropbox, Boxie includes a built-in file viewer for opening a range of popular file types, including both audio and video files. However, Boxie also expands file support past what is offered in the official client through the introduction of ZIP archive support. Users can browse through any ZIP files directly in the app, and even sort files within the archive. Furthermore, individual files can be selected from within the archive and extracted into a designated folder.
While Boxie is not a revolutionary step beyond what Dropbox currently offers, it certainly does clean up some rough edges. Frequently-used functions are always easily accessible, and the ability to create a list of bookmarked items without having to store them offline is a welcomed feature. Boxie is currently a $2 purchase in the App Store, however this price will rise to $3 in the next few days. While the app will run on any iOS 7 device, the interface has only been optimized for the iPhone at this point. However, the developers have promised that universal support is in the works, and will be offered as a free update.