Root Explorer Review

Root Explorer Review

Jan 12, 2015

Root Explorer looks to accomplish a serious task: give its user access to the file system on the host Android device. It is able to list all the data, in several ways, in such a way that it can be manipulated, on the device itself, without the need for a desktop terminal.

It is especially geared towards root users — Android users that have attained administrative privileges on their devices — as the hidden file menu (which is the bane of stock Android ownership) is revealed with this app.

The feature list Root Explorer possesses is what sets it apart. Off the bat, it looks like a business tool, with simple navigation. For folks that like a bit of customization, the app offers the ability to tweak the appearance; there are different themes, and the iconset can be played around with, in addition to how the files re2themselves are presented. The developer allows the user to create as minimal of a user interface as possible. File paths have an easy visual path that is easy to understand.

Working with data is easy. One can easily delete, duplicate, copy and rename files. Additionally, it is possible to do advanced operations, such as adjust read/write permissions, zipping/extractions, sending/sharing files via installed utilities and more. The basic operations (like copying) flow intuitively, allowing one to place a file precisely where one wants it. The tab feature is also great, allowing the creation of quick access “tabs” at the top; so, if one frequently accesses a specific file path, said location can be bookmarked via a tab.

One of my favorite features is the ability of the app to access external cloud storage tools; using the tab interface, one get access to Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. This is a very convenient tool. Just as impressively, it is possible to interface with network locations via Samba. Again, Root Explorer serves as an invaluable conduit that allows users to manipulate files remotely.

All in all, for root users, Root Explorer can be a very functional tool. It works well, can be tweaked, and is a breeze to use. Additionally, for folks on the fringe (or unrooted folks), free app Explorer is available in slightly less functional form. It’s almost impossible to touch on all the app brings to the table, and that is one reason it is so compelling.

It keeps giving.

File Expert with Clouds Review

File Expert with Clouds Review

Nov 26, 2013

File Expert is a an Android file manager from GeekSoft; we had an opportunity to check it out a while back; it’s back, and seems to be beefier.

The app UI is mostly simple, with the default light theme background being white with pastel icons that also incorporate basic imagery that further conveys their purpose. In addition, there is dark theme that really makes the icons pop out, and a mixed version that adds in a black top tab to the light theme. The settings tab mostly maintains the same design elements, with view modes than can be adjusted (list or grid) and the ability to get rid of thumbnails to improve performance.

As far as performance, the app was able to pull up all the files on my testing device immediately. The file navigationfile1 system is fairly intuitive and follows the basics of Android filing. The address of the selected file shows at the top as icons are tap navigated. Dates of modification are show with the files, and the check boxes to the right. The boxes allow the matching file(s) can be manipulated.

The advertised FTP functionality is a nice touch, and it seems access to servers has been added in. Additionally, files can be shared via bluetooth, NFC and wi-fi.

Two features make this app compelling. First, the cloud functionality; the app works with all the major online storage services, and then some. Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive and more including, GeekSoft’s proprietary cloud. The second feature I really like is the the built-in categorization the app does. It pulls in pictures, videos, e-books, etc into app-defined files. The extra tools (like file shredder , one touch cleaner and he built-in memory manager) are definitely the cherry on top.

Some features have to be unlocked to be used; even on its own, in the free ad-based state, it looks like a nice tool to have.

AndroXplorer Pro 4 Review

AndroXplorer Pro 4 Review

Feb 16, 2012

AndroXplorer is back with a new version. The 4th version of the file manager is now available on the Android Market. Like many Android file managers, it offers access ot the user’s files on the device, along with access to external SD cards. It can browse through applications on the device, enabling them to be backed up. It can also extract a variety of compressed files, making it a useful tool for those who frequently work with archives.

The latest version has two key benefits. First, there’s root access, for rooted users. When it comes to tinkering, having access to root files from an app the user likes is always an advantage – and having an app the user is familiar with reduces the possibility of making crucial errors! Second, the app supports tablets, which lack a very good file manager so far. The app’s three-window interface with left tabs makes it extremely useful for moving and navigating between multiple directories.

The app can hypothetically detect network servers sharing files via SMB but the automatic search either does not work, as it keeps crashing on my Motorola Xoom running Ice Cream Sandwich, and manually adding servers does not detect any folders. In fact, even the automatic search does not tend to detecct any folders, which is strange. This is a shame because it would serve as a great way to ditch the USB cable when trying to transfer files to and from a computer. There doesn’t appear to be any way to back up an app’s data; apparently we’re all just beholden to Titanium Backup for that. The documentation is very confusing, and makes it hard to see just what can be done with the app.

While the app’s upgrades and interface changes will be good for previous users of AndroXplorer, there’s not much here in this latest version to convince users to ditch their preferred file manager for this, although tablet users don’t really have much choice otherwise.

AndroXplorer Review

AndroXplorer Review

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.