Android doesn’t come with a file manager, however several apps are competing to fill the void. The most feature-rich, ASTRO File Manager, goes surprisingly beyond just browsing files on your mobile phone.
To start, ASTRO offers both the Android standard “list view” and a more desktop-like “icon view” that some desktop PC users may find more comfortable to work with. It also includes other advanced features usually only found on desktop computers, such as image thumbnails as icons, a special built-in image browser, ZIP archive creation and extraction, FTP browsing, directory bookmarks, and a highly customizable file search function. It also offers home shortcuts to any directory.
ASTRO does not stop there. It also backs up free apps, manages running processes, edits music playlists, and examines the SD card to easily display what directories and files are taking up space. But perhaps the most powerful feature is a setting that enables Android’s Internet browser to download any file type. By default, only files with extensions that are recognized and claimed by installed apps can be downloaded. This is a very frustrating limitation of Android, and is a perfect example of how Android’s openness encourages competition to augment and improve the basic functions of the platform.
While there may be other more simple or intuitive file managers available depending on taste, ASTRO File Manager’s feature set and extra tools set it apart from the competition. It’s worth downloading if for no other reason than to enable Android’s included Internet browser to download any file regardless of extension.
Note: This review was submitted by Lane Montgomery as part of our app review contest.