Google introduced a controversial change in the name of security with Android 11 — Scoped Storage. The new API is supposed to hinder apps from reading each other's data, stopping bad actors from snooping through your phone. But that restriction also extends to file explorers, where it makes much less sense. Google promised it would work on exemptions for these apps, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the corresponding policy was postponed to 2021. Read More
You might be wondering why we're rounding up file browser apps if the latest Android smartphones already come with perfectly-functional versions. Frankly, there's too many in the Play Store not to highlight the ones worth checking out. And if you're a frequent device hopper, switching between your phone, tablet, and Android TV device, you might be looking for a file browser with a bit more functionality than what the default Google, Samsung, and Motorola versions have to offer.
Mobile file browsers work similarly to the desktop versions of these apps. They enable you to shuffle around files and folders between directories or compress them if they're too big to share through traditional channels. Read More
Total Commander (or Windows Commander back in the 90s) is one of the best-known orthodox file managers out there and made the jump to Android back in 2012 (check out our hands-on for some nostalgia). Version 2 followed soon after in the same year, and apart from a visual update to make it fit better within Holo and Material Design, the basic interface has been the same up until today. Version 3,0, which has been in beta since 2018, doesn't change that, but at least it packs a slew of new features compared to Total Commander 2.91. Read More
Google has a serious problem with draconian, overreaching app removal policies in the Play Store. Instead of taking the time to discuss minor issues with developers, the company loves to use a sledgehammer to crack the nuts. The latest app to take the hit is FX File Explorer, a popular file manager with more than 5 million downloads and a 4+ rating. It has been removed without warning because it allegedly sports deceptive ads, which is not true as far as we can tell. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
We already consider ES File Explorer to be the simplest way to sideload APKs to Android TV, but we didn't realize our old approach was actually the complicated one. Read More
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. Read More