Motorola was the first major smartphone maker to start putting its stock apps in the Play Store. Before that, OEMs would only update those apps as part of an OTA update. It sounds positively barbaric by today's standards. Motorola isn't done yet, though. Just today it added its stock file manager to the Play Store. You won't see much in the way of improvements this time, but who knows what the future could bring?
File management is a necessity for many Android users, but few manufacturers provide a fully-featured app to do so. If you want to be able to tap into all that is possible with your file system, you will need a third party option like File Expert.
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.
When you go to the Storage area of settings and tap on Misc. to see what's eating up your free space, Android tosses up a rather basic file manager. You can select top-level directories and delete them. That's it. This screen doesn't even let you dive in and see what files are lurking about.
In Android M, Misc. changes to Other files. But that's just the beginning. Not only can you descend into directories, you're treated to an interface that looks more like a file manager. You can swap to a grid view, copy items, and share what's selected.
An app called File Expert is probably going to be an expert at managing files. One would hope, anyway, and in this case, one probably wouldn't be disappointed. File Expert can move your files around, measure your storage space, organize content automatically, and keep track of apps. Now it can do all of these things while looking up-to-date. That's right, in version 7, File Expert goes material.
The user interface is now turquoise and white all over the place. Brightly-colored, square-shaped icons accompany each item. The experience is still very tab heavy, but it has transitioned in a way that looks more at home on Lollipop.
If you haven't heard, there's an Android version of the popular desktop file manager Total Commander. It has been around for years, and through all of that time, it hasn't been a particularly pretty piece of software. Okay, it started out somewhat fine by Gingerbread standards, but successive versions of Android have not been nice to it. If you go to the Play Store right now, here's one of the screenshots you will see.
Yup, that's some kind of Gingerbread-Ice-Cream-Sandwich-Holo-Frankenbaby.
Now things are starting to improve. Version 2.6 isn't exactly what we call pretty, nor does it hang out with anyone we'd consider all that attractive, but it's making an effort.
Every power user has a favorite file manager. It doesn't matter how many are installed or why, there is always one that takes the lead position. Of course, as new features become popular, it's not uncommon for people to switch out their favorite app to pull up one that offers whatever they need. The new must-have among file managers is support for writing to the SD card on Android 5.0 Lollipop. One week after Root Explorer added this ability, Solid Explorer comes rolling in with its own update.
-ability to write SD card contents on Android Lollipop
-improved root handling on Android Lollipop
-fixed misaligned splashscreen on high resolution displays
Root Explorer is one of those apps that has been on each and every one of my Android devices for years, and part of the reason why is that developer Speed Software has kept it relevant with near-constant useful updates. The latest, version 3.3, takes advantage of the revised SD card management on Android 5.0. Those with Lollipop devices can once again write to an external SD card even without root.
Yes, Root Explorer works without root permissions - if you haven't rooted your device (or you can't), it's basically just a well-rounded file manager that can't modify the /system partition or other protected areas of Android's file system.
File browsers are a dime a dozen on Android. Ever since the dawn of the platform, they have been a staple necessity, mostly for power and root users. Despite some manufacturers, like Samsung, shipping their devices with a barebones file manager, third-party clients have always offered more features, sometimes even earning more than 50 million downloads along the way to become some of the most popular apps on the Play Store.
When looking to recommend the best file browser, I could easily pick two or three incredibly powerful ones and forget twenty others that are just as excellent. If it cuts and it pastes, if it compresses and renames, if it accesses Dropbox and Google Drive, then it's enough for most Android users. That's why I decided to focus my selection on powerful file browsers with a little added something that makes them special.
WebDrive, as its name would suggest, allows users to access files stored remotely as though they were available locally. The concept is far from unusual these days, with cloud storage progressively replacing local storage as the default way people save files. Still, this piece of software has built a name for itself on Windows and Mac. Now, after first shipping for iOS, an Android version has hit the Play Store.
This is far from the only file manager that can talk to FTP, WebDAV, SFTP, or other remote servers. ES File Explorer and Solid Explorer are two traditional file managers to do so, while FolderSync is a syncing utility that will access them as well.