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Old August 23rd, 2011, 03:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
tliebeck
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Default FX File Explorer: a "desktop-class" file/media manager for Android

Hello all,

Iím the author of SystemPanel and have since written a file management application, "FX File Explorer". FX intends to be an uncluttered, everyday-usable file manager for Android. The primary development goal has been to create the same level of usability, intuitiveness, and efficiency as that offered by the file manager on your desktop computer.

Local file management features of FX are free, including the root features, indexed search, usage view, non-encrypted archive creation/extraction, the text editor, and all other viewers (e.g. script exec, binary viewer, image viewer). The network/cloud stuff and media-specific stuff (e.g. browsing music by album, editing playlists) is a paid add-on called "FX Plus".

The free version of FX is not a "Lite" version or some kind of watered-down demo. There is no advertising in FX. And there is no user-tracking, phoning home, or any other "doubleplusungood" stuff of any kind in FX.

Home Screen

The "Home Screen" appears when you first open FX. The idea of the home screen is that you create bookmarks to the folders you actually use, rather than milling through the garbage every app places in the root folder of your SD card.

One last note regarding the free-vs-plus stuff: The features shown in the "Media" and "Internet and Network" sections are part of the "FX Plus" add-on, while everything else is free. And another note: the home-screens below have every option turned on: you can use the "View" menu to customize what is shown.

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Directory Browsing

These screenshots show FX viewing a directory listing in the three different view modes: Icon, List, and Usage view.

Usage view is useful for managing/freeing space on your device, as it shows you how much space is used in each directory. Usage view is available only for local storage, and can be used as root.

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Themes

The previous screenshots were shown with the "Light" theme. The two screenshots below use the dark and light variants of the "Translucent" theme, where a dimmed version of your desktop background is displayed within FX (or a custom background of your choosing):

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Split View Mode and Multiple Windows

You can drag the "path bar" at the top of FX downward to enter split-view mode (or use the Window menu). Split-view works in both portrait and landscape orientations. You can also adjust the splitter position to make one view larger than the other, or swipe it away to go back to a single view.

You can open as many windows as you'd like, and view either one or two at a time.

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Swipe-to-select

You can drag your finger horizontally across an item to select or deselect it:



(Note: this horrible GIF animation is from an ancient pre-1.0 version of FX....the 2.0 version is a bit more pleasant)


Pinch-to-zoom

In any "explorer" view, you can use a "pinch-to-zoom" gesture to zoom in or out. In some views, zooming in will reveal more information about the displayed items. Below are two split view screenshots. In each, the top view is zoomed all the way in, the bottom all the way out. In the second screenshot browsing the /data folder as root, the permissions data disappears when you zoom all the way out.

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Indexed Search

FX uses an indexed search to more quickly locate files. The search index is updated on an as-needed basis and does NOT use a constantly-running background service. You can constrain searches by file name, folder, date, size, or file type.

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Root / Developer Features

FX supports root access. Root access requires an add-on, but the add-on is free.

Root access is kept entirely separate from normal file browsing, and can optionally be protected.

Developer features include:
  • Root access may be secured via PIN, Password, or Warning; secured access can be enabled for viewing or only for modifications
  • Remount filesystems as read/write or read-only
  • Disable System Apps
  • Root Usage View
  • Recursive Search
  • Modify permissions
  • Change Ownership/Group, with Android-based design (e.g. select an app-specific user by app name; see screenshot)
  • Symlink Creation (relative and absolute)
  • Shell Script Execution, with support for creating launcher shortcuts to execute scripts [NR]
  • Explore APK Contents [NR]
  • View Android Binary XML Files in Text Viewer [NR]
  • View any file in Binary Viewer [NR]
  • MD5/SHA1 Checksum and Composite Checksum Calculation/Comparison (checksum directory structures, optionally with UNIX permissions, [NR])
Items marked with [NR] do not require root, but may offer more functionality when root is available.

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Text Editor

FX includes a full-featured text editor. It can edit local text files, edit files as root, and edit files on remote hosts (with FX Plus add-on). Features include:
  • Undo/Redo with History (able to undo/redo multiple times)
  • Cut/Copy/Paste
  • Pinch-to-zoom font scaling
  • Proportional and fixed fonts, word wrap can be enabled/disabled
  • Optional shortcut bar can be enabled to provide arrow keys and fast access to undo/redo
  • Jump to line number, beginning/ending of file
  • Find text within documents
  • File browsing for Open/Save As
  • Enable/disable autocorrect
  • Multiple color schemes
  • Save/load files in different character sets




Menus, Tasks, and Miscellany

The "Operations" screen lets you keep track of everything that FX is )doing. The "FX" task shown running in the notification area is only present when operations are ongoing. FX behaves like a proper Android app and doesn't need to constantly run in the background or be manually exited. Any network connections will be closed very quickly if they're not actively transferring data when the screen is turned off.


The mighty "View" menu.


The binary viewer.


Plus Add-On

All features demonstrated above are entirely free. The Plus Add-On is the paid component of FX, and adds additional features:
  • Application management: browse user, system, or all installed apps
  • Browse installed apps by permission (e.g. find all apps which require GPS location or Internet access)
  • (Root Access Required) View /data usage by application, disable any application
  • AES-128/256 Zip Encryption/decryption; browse inside encrypted zip files/folders, view text files, images, audio and video files without ever writing decrypted version to media
  • Browse all Images, browse images by folder (e.g. Camera folders on different media/SD cards)
  • Browse camera Videos or all videos on device
  • Browse Music by Artist, Album, Playlist, or view all music
  • Browse ringtones, podcasts, notifications, and alarm sounds
  • Create playlists, add albums/tracks/artists/playlists to playlists, reorder playlists via drag-and-drop
  • Bluetooth FTP and Bluetooth Pairing within FX (pushing files via Bluetooth does NOT require FX Plus if your device supports it)

FX Plus adds support for the following network/cloud services:
  • SMB (Windows Networking), supports network browsing
  • FTP, including FTP-S and FTP-ES; browsing local network supported via mDNS
  • SSH, including public key, password, and interactive authentication; browsing local network supported via mDNS
  • WebDAV, including WebDAV over HTTPS; browsing local network supported via mDNS
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Box
  • SugarSync
  • Microsoft SkyDrive (subject to file type limitations Microsoft places on all non-Microsoft clients)
  • OwnCloud (by creating a WebDAV connection)

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Last edited by tliebeck; July 16th, 2013 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Major update for FX 2.0.
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