Whenever we have talked about an Android file manager on Guiding Tech the only name we have mentioned is the ES File Explorer. There are countless number of articles written on the stunts you can pull with the ES File explorer. Without a second thought, I can say that it’s the ninja of the file manager world of Android and one which doesn’t cost a dime.
But not everyone is able to tame this ninja. As we were discussing the fact on GT, Khamosh mentioned that, “ES is great but it’s a geek’s pride thing” and I couldn’t agree more. Indeed, ES File Explorer is feature packed, but the packaging was not done correctly and new users often get lost trying to figure out the features.
So today, I am going to talk about two simple, yet feature rich (to an extent) File Explorer apps for your Android. There are manufacturers that ship their devices with a basic file manager app. And then there are manufacturers which ship stock Android like the Moto G and Moto E which don’t have a native file explorer. Therefore, here are two easy ones to pick from, if it didn’t go well with ES File Explorer.
Clean File Manager
The Clean File Manager is as minimal as it can get when it comes to feature rich file managers for Android. It supports the new Material design guidelines by Google. The interface is very easy to understand and navigate when compared to Astro and ES File Explorer. The app opens in the explorer view and the landing page is the root folder of your internal SD card. Swipe to the right to reveal the left-hand panel, using which you can use to navigate to various folders.
You have bookmarks to frequently used folders like Camera, Download, Pictures and Applications in the sidebar itself. The file manager has OTG supports if your hardware supports it natively. I have seen some HTC and Samsung phones that lack OTG support at the kernel level. Cloud storage can be added, but only Google Drive and Dropbox are supported at the moment.
Apart from the usual file manage options like moving, renaming and deleting, you get the option to set a music file as ringtone. One also gets some basic support for archive files like ZIP, Rar, Tar, Tar.gz, etc. Shortcuts of frequently used folders can be added to your phone’s homescreen. Tap on the three-dot menu to get all the options.
Note: There’s a Beta community you can join to test new features and get access to early release. Check out their Google+ page for additional details.
FX File Explorer
Clean File Manager was as basic as it can get. But if you are looking for a more feature rich file manager app with an easy to handle user interface, FX File Explorer might be your best bet. To start with, the file manager supports Material Design. FX File Explorer has a free module that’s completely ad-free but has only basic features. You can work on the files and folders that are on your device. There’s a free root add-on one can install to manage system files.
The free version includes a 7-day trial of the FX File Explorer Premium which opens the box of features in the app. You can add cloud storage account, FTP servers, etc. The home screen of the app lists all the modules and makes it easy to navigate. The sidebar has a list of all the windows you have opened in the app. Split view is one of my favorite feature on the app. One can open two folders in split view and work on them in parallel.
Suppose you have Dropbox view open in one split and the Download folder in the other, a copy/paste command is enough to download the files form Dropbox to the phone’s internal memory. What’s more, FX also has built-in media player with image viewer along with archive file support.
If you are looking for a simple file manager to just manage files on your device, Clean File Manager can be your pick. For devices which don’t come with a native file manager, it’s more than everything you would need in a stock file manager.
For users who are looking for additional features like the ES File Explorer but on a better interface, can give FX File Explorer a try. These are all additional features and are available with a purchase of the add-on at $2.49 after the 7 days’ trial finishes.
Whatever your choice might be, don’t forget to keep us in the loop. We are all ears (or eyes, I suppose) in the comments section below.
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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