Even though Android is the most popular smartphone OS globally — on more than two billion active devices — not many apps join the exclusive 1-billion-downloads club. Among those that make it, Google is unsurprisingly the most popular developer. Its latest app to pass this milestone is Files by Google.
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.
Files by Google made its debut a couple of years back, and Google has slowly been adding features to it. The latest additions in v1.0.33 include a PDF viewer and the ability to adjust playback speed for videos.
If you've followed the story of the Google Files app's Safe folder feature, you'd know it's been a roller-coaster. It was first spotted in development mid-June, but two weeks later, we saw signs of it being unceremoniously killed before it even went live for anyone. Well, it now appears to be alive and well, as it just showed up in the latest Files beta version. (Update: And Google has just formally announced the rollout.)
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 Files started out as a Go app and has since been promoted and shrugged off that denomination. It's still a lightweight application aimed primarily markets with low-bandwidth internet, so most of its features don't rely on the internet, such as device cleaning and peer-to-peer file sharing. The app has now also gained support for local media casting, finally bringing it on par with many third-party apps that have supported this for almost as long as the Chromecast protocol has existed.