One of the things that first struck me about MX Player, when I tried it out many years ago, was its swiping gestures on each side of the screen. Instead of looking for physical volume buttons or pausing the video to find the brightness controls on my phone, a simple swipe would adjust those without skipping a second. These same gestures are now available in Android's built-in video player.
Perhaps the most drastic change announced for Android Q was Scoped Storage, which changes file management on Android by limiting which folders apps can access. After complaints from developers that they wouldn't be able to update their apps in time for Q, Google said it wouldn't make Scoped Storage a requirement until Android R, but well-known file manager Solid Explorer has just added support anyway.
As a Mac user, I've felt like a pariah over the past years that I've also been using Android as my go-to mobile platform. Mac works fantastically with iOS, but Android doesn't have any powerful integration with any desktop environment. That's been the status-quo of things for as long as I remember. Android does work well enough with Windows when you're just trying to transfer some files though. But if you're on a Mac, simply plugging in the phone with a USB cable and choosing the MTP mode (File Transfer) wouldn't do the trick, you'd need a separate app called Android File Transfer (ATP) from Google to make it work.
Xiaomi is following in the footsteps of many OEMs and releasing its apps onto the Play Store for faster updates, which avoids the long waits of firmware upgrades. However, Xiaomi is doing something differently: it's allowing users of other brands' devices to use its apps. After the capable Mi Calculator, now we have Mi FileExplorer on the Play Store. The app is still marked as "Unreleased" so it's still in beta, but from my tests it seems to work quite well.
Mi FileExplorer reminds me of the built-in file browser I've seen on my Samsung and LG devices: there's a regular directory browser, but also a per-type categorization that lets you view all your stored images or videos or APKs or documents (and other types) regardless of which folder they're in.
Pop quiz, developers: how do you piss off the maximum amount of users and ruin the reputation of your years-old utility app at the same time? Short of plastering racial slurs all over the intro screen, hiding semi-useless adware inside it seems like a pretty good bet. Though the developers of ES File Explorer eventually turned off the sneaky "charging boost" app that was included in some of the latest builds, the perceived damage to the app among dedicated users has been done. That said, ES File Explorer has over 100 million installations, so things are moving forward regardless.
The SHIELD TV is the best Android TV device around, even if its competition isn't up to much. With NVIDIA's Tegra X1 architecture and an available 500GB hard drive on the Pro model, one might wonder why something like the fan-favorite Plex software wasn't available before. (Plex was previously installed on the SHIELD, but only as a client for streaming media from another server.) Well soon enough it will be: NVIDIA and Plex announced that the next update to the SHIELD firmware will include a built-in Plex media server.
I'm a big fan of Root Explorer for its powerful featureset and no-nonsense user interface. As utilitarian as it is, no one has ever accused it of being, well, pretty. But the latest update to the app, version 4.0 on the Play Store, gives the entire thing a fresh coat of paint. Yeah, it's somewhat overdue, but dedicated users will be happy to see it anyway. "Material Design" is the only entry in the changelog, but to be fair, that's a pretty big change.
In M, Android introduced a much needed file explorer that allowed users to browse their internal storage's directories, copy items, share them, open files that they may not have been able to access otherwise, and find specific ones they're looking for, all without the need for a third-party file explorer. This integrated browser is getting even better in Android N with a lot of new functionality and the addition of more powerful actions that weren't available in the previous iteration.
The browser is still hidden in Android's Settings > Storage > Explore, and once you open it, you'll see a similar interface to the one available in Marshmallow, but with lots of new features.
Hey, remember those many moons ago when ES File Explorer, one of the more popular file managers on Android, released a Material Design user interface update? You should, because it was exactly one moon ago, back at the beginning of August. After a relatively quick closed beta session (which Android Police apparently spoiled by writing a story about a pre-release version uploaded to APK Mirror - sorry), the update is now live in the Play Store as app version 4.0.2. Go download it.
Accessing and controlling a full-sized desktop on a handheld machine is no task for the timid, and making a tool to do it isn't easy, either. But virtualization software vendor Parallels knows a trick or two, and they've added one or two more into the Android version of Access. The latest update includes new tools to access remote computer files, better compatibility for the S-Pen stylus on Samsung Galaxy Note phones and tablets, and better audio options.
The biggest addition to version 2.5 is the built-in file browser, which makes opening files remotely on a mobile screen much, much easier.