Ina Fried

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Box Adds Apps for Android Tablets, RIM PlayBook

One of the key desires of businesses moving documents to the cloud is the ability to access them from all manner of devices.

With that in mind, Box is now adding support for Android tablets and Research in Motion’s PlayBook. The company already has apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android phones and webOS, among others.

“Philosophically, we want to be anywhere our customers are,” Box CEO Aaron Levie said in an interview. While Apple’s tablets are the most popular, Levie (pictured right) said that his company is seeing its customers seeking support for a wide range of mobile devices. In many cases, companies are simply letting workers use whatever device they have, as long as there is a secure means of doing so.

“When we look at our enterprise customer environments, the diversity of the technology they are using is really remarkable,” he said. “They are not picking winners.”

In addition to adding the new tablet apps, Box is also overhauling its mobile Web site with new HTML5-based features. Over time, the company hopes there is more convergence toward the mobile Web.

“It makes our development process a lot more efficient and ultimately scalable,” Levie said.

The company announced back in February that it had raised $48 million in Series D funding to help bulk up its development efforts.

Box and other cloud storage companies are increasingly finding themselves competing against the titans of tech, including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. The company hopes its broad support for all manner of devices will help it stand out from companies that are primarily interested in promoting their own platform.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik