BlackBerry 10 has an excellent file manager which allows documents and media stored on the device to be viewed and used with ease.
No other smartphone platform gives this much prominence to files stored in the cloud and this greatly increases the capacity and capabilities of the BlackBerry Z10.
The OS sees native integration with Box and Dropbox through the File Manager app. After registering and signing into these services they are listed alongside the handset’s internal storage options as if they are simply an extension of it.
Switching between any of these file locations is simple, with BlackBerry 10’s brilliant gesture based interface making it easy to swipe out of one and into another.
Files can be moved from one cloud storage service to another without downloading them to the device. For example, if you have a document stored in Dropbox and want to move it over to Box, the File Manager app lets you do this directly; you don’t have to first download the file to the handset then upload it again.
Android has a similar function with its Google Drive app which allows files to be pulled through straight from Dropbox. However, the service is limited and items cannot be moved back in the opposite direction.
BlackBerry 10 also allows you to share files stored on the cloud without first downloading them to the handset. Using File Manager, you can select a file and attach it to an email (or send it over BBM, tweet it etc) and BlackBerry 10’s UI quickly skips over to the email section of the BlackBerry Hub to allow you to add recipients.
There’s another excellent touch here that could save recipients time and effort. While the File Manager app doesn’t force you to download cloud-based files unnecessarily, if you send them via email it will attach the actual file to the message. If you email a file from the Dropbox app on iOS or Android the person you send it to will receive a URL from where they can download it; BlackBerry 10 attaches the actual file to the email, saving time at the other end.
Further to this, if you are sent a file via email or BBM you can save it directly to the cloud, bypassing the handset’s internal storage.
You may be thinking that it isn’t entirely necessary to have all of your files stored online rather than on your device, but there are some big advantages. With 16GB of internal storage the BlackBerry Z10 isn’t limited in its capacity, however, having files offline means that all of this can be used for app data.
We have never seen a mobile platform that integrates cloud storage to the depths that BlackBerry 10 does and it is incredible to see and to use.