When we found Medieval Software's new app called Dual File Manager XT yesterday, we jumped on it right away due to its 2-pane support. Ever since the '90s, 2-pane "orthodox" file managers like the Midnight, Norton, Volkov, and most recently Total Commander have been an absolute necessity on any computer I use.

In fact, once I install a Windows OS nowadays, Total Commander is the first program that follows. Those who try 2-pane file managers can't (or rather shouldn't want to) go back to the conventional Explorer-style layouts - the level of productivity they bring is unparalleled.

Total Commander for Android

But let's come back to Android - after we posted the Dual File Manager XT, 2 people (Wr3ck and Martin) brought to my attention the fact that Christian Ghisler, the developer behind my favorite Total Commander, has been actually working on an Android port for quite a while now. Yes, Total Commander for Android is not only real, but already quite impressive, and yes - it has root support!

Christian Ghisler wrote in and said:

"Thanks for the nice review. :-)

After the death of Windows Mobile, Total Commander for Android is my new hobby project - that's why it's 100% free!"


Here are some of the features of Total Commander:

  • 2 panes - of course
    • 1 pane at a time: you can switch between them by using the big button with 3 arrows or get them in sync by using the button with 2 = signs
    • 2 panes at the same time: there is also an alternative 2-pane layout that shows 2 panes at the same time, just like the desktop version - handy for large screens, especially on tablets
    • settings for separate portrait/landscape configurations - for example, show 1 pane at a time for portrait and 2 panes for landscape. Brilliant
  • a home screen with shortcuts to the most commonly used directories - SD card, photos, downloads, file system root; there are also shortcuts to custom directory bookmarks and the app manager
  • copy/move/rename/delete/new folder (of course)
  • sorting of files and dirs
  • apk handling
  • zip/unzip with encryption support; unrar with multi-volume support
  • multiple file/dir selection (via tapping on icons or advanced)
  • history
  • search
  • built-in text editor
  • file/dir property modification including recursion
  • configurable button bar, just like in the desktop version. The buttons can:
    • change directory
    • launch app
    • view file app
    • send to app
    • run shell command
    • run internal command
  • built-in app manager
  • tablet-optimized
  • custom file associations
  • ignore list
  • hide/show hidden files
  • custom font, style, size, and color support
  • image thumbnails
  • option to go full-screen (no notification bar)
  • resume support in case a large download gets interrupted
  • multi-lingual (English, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hellenic, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukrainian)
  • plugin support - there are currently 3 plugins available (FTP and FTPS, Windows Networking - LAN, and WebDav)
  • I'm sure there are more features that I haven't found yet or forgot to mention - I'm so overwhelmed by how mature and useful Total Commander already is, it's kind of shocking it hasn't hit mainstream yet

Of course, since we're talking about Total Commander and not some random manager, you shouldn't be surprised that when we think sorting, Total Commander thinks SORTING, and when we say find files, Total Commander straight up slaps us across the face. Have a look yourself.

2 Panes

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While you can't drag and drop yet, note the presence of proper Honeycomb-style menu items on the top right.


File Selection and Sorting

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Directory History, Property Modification, and Search

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APK Handling, App Manager, and Text Editor

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Button Bar

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Root (!) and Archive Support

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Extensive Help and Settings

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As you can see, Total Commander, while still in beta, is already incredibly detailed, functional, and robust. Frankly, it blew my mind - the app hasn't even been in the Market yet, but in my opinion can easily beat out any other app manager out there, especially considering root support.

As if that's not enough, Total Commander is ad-free and free of charge for life. Can it get any better than that?


Total Commander is not yet available in the Market, but you can download the latest version from here.

The detailed changelog is available here.

As always, discuss your impressions in the comments and let me know if I missed anything.