Box’s desktop app is fine for you, but better for businesses

After around two years in the making, Box Drive is finally here.

When you think of cloud storage services, your mind probably drifts over Dropbox or Google Drive. You might not remember Box as well -- it was one of the earliest cloud providers out there and it's thriving today. Now, it's catching up with some of its biggest rivals in a notable way: it finally has a desktop app so you manage your entire Box archive sans web browser.

Ready for the caveat? It's still technically in beta. In a conversation with ZDNet, Box product VP Rand Wacker said the tech is good enough for use in the field -- it just doesn't offer offline syncing yet.

If the broad strokes sound familiar, well, congratulations: you have a pulse and own a computer. Similar functionality has been available from cloud storage rivals and more for years now, and Box itself has been working on its native desktop app for at least two years. The delayed launch was almost certainly due to the nature of its most important customers. While competitors skew toward consumer use, Box has focused heavily on becoming the sort of platform large-scale enterprises rely on. That means serious security, among other things.

Sure, the average user can use Box Drive to ferry files into their slice of the cloud just fine. Your mom at home probably doesn't need to worry about her online files being stored in compliance with HIPAA, though. In this case, Box thinks -- or hopes -- that companies in healthcare and financial services will take a shine to the new app, since those firms often rely on virtual machines where other syncing services can be wonky. (Naturally, Box Drive also works with macOS and Windows.) In any case, go forth -- go forth and manage your clouds and let your hearts be full of joy.