May 27, 2011
NOTE: This review is based off version 3, available from AndroXplorer’s website. This and the Android Market version are identical, except version 3 contains the ability to archive and encrypt files, by purchasing a license key. A license key was provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.
AndroXplorer is yet another file system explorer for Android phones. Offering access to a device’s internal memory (which requires root access), internal and external SD cards, and network SMB shares. As well, a list of programs with the ability to back them up is also offered. The app’s real kick is its ability to back up files into archives, including zip, 7zip, and a wide variety of other formats, with plenty of encryption available.
This is a very powerful app. There are plenty of features, and it is very feature-comparable with other file managers available on the OS. The app makes it extremely easy to make archives, so for users who use their Android device to manage a lot of files directly, the archival options of the full version (available via registration key on the developer’s website) could really come in handy. This could be especially useful for people looking to replace their computers, or at least some of the tasks their computers would do, with an Android device. As well, the app’s ability to switch between 3 different panes by swiping between them makes it very easy to copy files from one location to another, whether it be between phone directories, or between a networked server and the phone.
The problem with AndroXplorer is that while it is feature-packed, it is very much steeped in user-unfriendliness. Many features are presented, but they are never explained in the app itself. For example, the network feature is never explained as to what protocol it supports within the app, I had to go to the website’s user guide to figure this out. As well, there is a wide variety of options available with mounting, but nothing that is ever quite explained in the app. An operation that is not quite obvious is that when choosing files to extract from zipped archives, it is required to then do the Paste operation to extract the archive to the location given. This is the same with backing up of apps; sadly, data cannot be backed up by AndroXplorer.
AndroXplorer is a powerful file manager, and one that will satisfy those looking to manage their files. The free version is worth checking out, especially as the interface starts to become more familiar, the app becomes more and more useful. It’s just getting past that initial state of confusion that is AndroXplorer’s biggest drawback. While I wouldn’t find myself using the advanced archival and encryption options regularly, for power users, the $15 license key may be worth it for direct Android file archival, if this is necessary.