This story was originally published and last updated .
While the average amount of storage on high-end smartphones has grown over the years, so too has the amount of space Android, manufacturers, carriers, and just about everyone else who wants a piece of your gee-bees. A 64GB smartphone can feel downright cramped in 2020, and yet, many companies (like Google) continue to sell phones with this base level of storage. Simply installing all your favorite apps and getting set up can get you well over the halfway mark on such a phone, and as app cache, media, and photos and videos begin to build up, you can quickly find yourself running out of space.
Google released its Files app in the play store a few years back, but it was branded as a "Go" app for low-end devices. Here's the thing: everyone needs to clear out their storage on occasion. So, Google dropped the "Go," and now the app has hit the 500 million download milestone.
Google loves iterating on software design, but it often takes some time for its new ideas to trickle down to all its products. The refreshed Material Design principles visible in applications like Gmail are present in some parts of Chrome OS, but not others. That's changing soon, though, as the operating system's decidedly stale Files browser is getting a refresh.
Chrome 77 has pretty much finished its rollout across desktop and mobile platforms, so v78 has moved up to the beta channel. This update is jam-packed with new capabilities for web sites, so let's dive right in!
Fans of third-party cloud storage providers will be excited when Chrome OS 75 finally reaches the Stable Channel. The update will deliver an optional flag which enables storage services other than Drive to finally integrate into the Files app in Chrome OS via Android apps — though not all third-party storage solutions are compatible.
Google released its smart file manager back in 2017 with the purpose of helping people remove junk and clean up their device easily. In addition, the software also has a built-in sharing feature to send files across devices without the need for an Internet connection. The app passed more than 100 million downloads in January, but it seems the number isn't high enough for the company. Indeed, in order to encourage people to use Files, Google is offering up to ₹1,000 that can be used for later purchases.
Android's built-in file manager hasn't received much love over the years. In fact, until the Oreo update, it didn't even have its own icon in the launcher on stock Android. The app has received a facelift in the Android Q beta, along with a few new features.
In what will surely be a boon to Chromebook-related productivity, you can now make individual folders and files in your Google Drive available offline on Chrome OS, but only on V73 and later. That's Beta Channel and forward, at the time of writing.