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FX File Explorer: a "desktop-class" file/media manager for Android

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  1. Hmmm...!

  2. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    Is something disabled that isn't supposed to be? As stated in the first post, the media catalogs and network functions are not available in the free version. All the file management functions should still be present though. Please let me know if a feature was turned off that should not be.
  3. KaosStorm

    KaosStorm Well-Known Member

    That's precisely his point, from what I gather: he says that he particularly doesn't care if the media section is part of the pay app, but he feels that the network one should be present in both versions.

    FE has network features and root access in the free version (IIRC) and so he feels that he does not need FX (for now) because, when it goes lives, the free version will offer less than FE except in the UI department.

    EDIT: Don't know why I felt the need to clarify what tcat said. Anyway, and to answer just last question, when you enter "free mode" it disables both the features you said would go; so everything's good with that.
  4. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    That was my best estimate as well, I just want to make certain that this is the case and that something else isn't missing. The home screen of the free version will look a bit barren until the ability to add home-screen bookmarks is available. However once you navigate into a file catalog I think it hardly feels like a limited/"Lite" product.

    With regard to the more general issue though, the point of FX is not to square off in a price-for-features war against the rest of the Android market.

    The point of FX is the user interface. I'm not simply talking about aesthetics, but rather the method in which the user operates the application. FX is not designed to be only used in a pinch when there's no other option. It's designed to be used everyday, to provide a critical-but-missing piece of the operating system that will make it practical and easy to do things you might have previously wanted to instead use a PC to accomplish.

    All that said, the tariff for the full version isn't going to be particularly steep (pricing isn't set, but take a look at the cost of our existing apps).
  5. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    Version 0.73 is now available on the market. New features include:

    • Added support for FTP-S (implicit encryption) and FTP-ES (explicit encryption).
    • Added key verification dialog for new SSH connections. A key verification notice is displayed when connecting to a host for the first time, and a key changed warning/error is displayed in the event the key changes.
    • Added support for hiding system catalogs. Currently this feature is disabled by default but will likely soon be enabled by default (most non-technical users don’t have any interest in seeing non-user-accessible storage space, and technical users will easily be able to re-enable it).
    • Fixed playlist editing issue where reordering had an initial lag when dragging an item (when album art is enabled).
    • Fixed bug where passwords were forgotten when editing hosts.
    • Fixed bug where sleeping device would stop folder size calculations in folder details view.
    • FX may now be moved to the SD card.
    • FTP control connections are now kept alive during data transfers.
  6. barqers

    barqers Well-Known Member

    I really really like this file explorer. Only thing missing for me is multi-select :)
  7. KaosStorm

    KaosStorm Well-Known Member

    It does have multiselect, barqers; you need to swipe across the files you want to select, just as you would select one.

    If you don't know what "swipe across" means, check the vid in the OP.
  8. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    I've had to put out a 0.74 version to update a minor glitch in the 0.73 release that prevents the Bluetooth server from being started.

    The only thing modified in this update is the APK's manifest file. Unfortunately there's a very annoying bug in the Android tools for Eclipse where certain changes will result in it inappropriately changing the names of services provided by an application. As such the Bluetooth server wouldn't start at all in 0.73.

    Sorry for the trouble everyone, nothing more annoying than devs that throw multiple releases up in a day. :D
  9. tcat007

    tcat007 Well-Known Member

    "Competition" is the name of the game. Don't get me wrong, I really like this app. Just saying the networking feature is important (to me) to have for "free". I really don't mind ads (rather see ads than pay for full features). But then if this has all the bells and whistles for $.99 I'd probably buy it. Just would hate to see things like "root access" as a separate item. I do like the access to tools better on this app than in FE.

    You're doing a great job and the UI is very nice, you absolutely deserve income from a paid app or from ads. I was just surprised at what disappeared when unchecking "full version".
  10. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery VIP Member

    Hey Tod, great to see that you're making what seem like another great app. I hope this is as good as SystemPanel :)

    ^--that's me. I hate doing anything on the computer if I can do it on the phone :) Most of the file manager apps I've tried usually miss one feature or another or it has ADs (and not something I like 100% to buy)
    tliebeck likes this.
  11. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    Thanks!!! Greatly appreciate any feedback you have to offer!
  12. KaosStorm

    KaosStorm Well-Known Member

    One more thing that I found yesterday, while fixing an issue I had with K9:

    When you select a folder to save your attachments to, it loads your file manager/file explorer to locate said folder (or in case you don't have one, you have to enter the route manually). Since I have FX, it said that it didn't recognize any file manager available. I'm gonna try installing another file manager now and see if it recognizes that one.


    So yeah, I tried a few file managers and here are the results:

    1. File Manager (TouchWiz stock)
    2. FX
    3. File Expert
    4. ES File Manager
    5. Astro File Manager

    Out of those files, only ES File Manager got recognized by the app. Maybe you could find why is that and try to work yours into K9? Just a thought.
    tliebeck likes this.
  13. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    Thanks for reporting this, I'll grab K9 and check out what "Intent" it fires and try to add support. FX already has a folder selector, it'll just be a question of making it available to other applications.
  14. KaosStorm

    KaosStorm Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure if you're still monitoring this thread, but it's worth a shot.

    A quick question, is it normal that file explorers in Android don't support overwriting a file? I tried to move some images (wallpapers) from Dropbox to my WP folder, but since it appeared to have some duplicated entries, it gave me an error and refused to continue with the rest of the files.

    Is there a way to offer a rewrite/rename/ignore feature in these cases or is that a limitation of the OS?
  15. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    Definitely still monitoring this thread. It certainly is possible to implement the behavior you're requesting, defaulting to halting the operation is just the safest/easiest implementation. With regard to your statemnet that it's not copying the "rest of" the files though...it shouldn't be copying any of the files, i.e., it should be checking first before doing the work...is this not the case?
  16. KaosStorm

    KaosStorm Well-Known Member

    Just ran some tests and no, it does not move any of the files if it finds a single duplicated entry. I guess I just found the first thing I don't like about your app :p

    Still using it though, because I like it better than any other file manager that I've tested so far; it would be nice if it would let the rest of the files be copied/moved with the exception of the duplicated ones.
  17. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    Screenshot of r76 on an Asus Eee Pad Transformer (TF101):
    Click image for full size version.

    Hello all,

    r76 is now available on the Android market: https://market.android.com/details?id=nextapp.fx&feature=search_result

    This release adds support for setting background images for use within FX. By default it will use a dimmed version of your home screen background. You can set a custom image to be used only within FX if you'd like, and the contrast dimming level is configurable in the settings as well. You can also use the wallpaper image as your background for icon, list, and thumbnail views if you'd like. Most of the UI elements are translucent, so you'll be able to see the background through them.

    Bluetooth support has been overhauled a bit in this release. Our "Bluetooth Wi-fi Accelerator" which sends files over Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth for better performance has been changed around a bit. You can now use it while still retaining your phone's own Bluetooth push server (previously you *had* to use FX's push server). All of this is configurable in the settings.

    And non-Wi-Fi-accelerated Bluetooth performance is also significantly improved from the 0.73 release. While 0.73 was seeing 25-28KiB/second, 0.76 has been testing at 80-120KiB/second (depending on the device). The Wi-Fi accelerator is still quicker (300-500KiB/second, on a G network). Would very much be interested if anyone is seeing faster or slower times, and on what devices.

    Also visible in the Eee Pad screenshot is the new support for showing connected USB devices in the "Files" panel. Any mounted filesystem that is read/write will now show up there, excluding a few items like temporary system folders. Please let me know if you see anything in there that shouldn't be (or vice-versa).

    Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions! Very interested to hear input on these new changes...e.g., do you like/dislike the wallpaper option?
  18. tcat007

    tcat007 Well-Known Member

    I just got the update... my SDext2 shows up on my root files list, very cool. Can see all my "link2SD" .apks now. Not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing, but nice to see what in there!

    Not sure if the wallpaper background is necessary, black or selection by color is probably adequate. Even at 30% I had too many light spots making text less readable, I turned off wallpaper (should probably be off by default). Probably not so bad on a tablet.

    I see beta is ending Oct. 10th... that's my birthday, do I get free real version? :D
  19. KaosStorm

    KaosStorm Well-Known Member

    Also, the wallpaper works only on the home screen, right?
  20. tcat007

    tcat007 Well-Known Member

    Actually the wallpaper that popped up on mine was my screen #5. I have 6 screens, #3 is my main "home". I opened the app while on screen #4. So not sure how it picks the wallpaper (I use Multi-Picture Live, with 6 different images).
  21. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    Wallpaper is retrieved through the standard Android API call (WallpaperManager.getWallpaper() or something like that IIRC). We then scale it to fill the screen (cropping excess).

    I've found it tends to look identical to the center screen in portrait orientations (which is what was desired). In landscape orientations the Android home screen (Eclair/Froyo/GB) seems to show the TOP portion of the wallpaper rather than the center. I think Honeycomb corrects this bug. FX displays the center in both landscape and portrait.
  22. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    Thanks again everyone, 0.80 is now available on the Android Market!

    The major improvements in this release are bookmark capabilities and a built-in text editor.

    Bookmarks can be added by tapping-and-holding on local folders. For example, open the media card and tap-and-hold on your "Documents" or "Download" folder and then select "Add Bookmark" in the popup menu. A bookmark will be added to the FX home screen. Given that many applications will pollute the root directory of your SDCard/internal storage with configuration folders, creating a few key bookmarks can make navigation much nicer.

    Click to enlarge screenshots:

    Bookmarks on the FX home screen:

    Tapping-and-holding on a bookmark will allow you to edit it, remove it, change its icon, or rearrange the order of bookmarks:

    The other big new feature in 0.80 is the text editor. This is of course will be a fairly critical component once the root access module is complete/released. The text editor can be launched from within FX (currently only via "open with" or by disabling the text viewer and setting it as the default text-file viewer).

    The text editor is currently fairly simple but its featureset will be expanded over time.


    Additionally have updated default preferences to have the background image displayed by default in all the major views. This is still configurable of course, you'll just want to first uncheck the "Always Use Wallpaper" option in the "Appearance" section of the Settings.
    Roze, KaosStorm and Crashdamage like this.
  23. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Well-Known Member

    Nice! But a quick question: I can't find a 'move' function for files or folders. Am I dumb & blind or has this basic function been left out?

    Edit: Never mind -dumb question. I figured out using 'cut' instead of 'move'. Don't like it but get the job done.
  24. tliebeck

    tliebeck VIP Member VIP Member

    A lot of people are initially put off by cut/copy strategy, especially if they've never used it on their desktop PC's. I think this is largely because most people like to simply drag-and-drop.

    As far as effort is concerned, it's roughly the same for basic operations:

    1.) Select files
    2.) Tap Cut or Copy
    3.) Navigate to new destination
    4.) Tap Clipbaord
    5.) Tap Paste

    Immediate Move/Copy Strategy:
    1.) Select Files
    2.) Tap Immediate Move / Immediate Copy Button
    3.) Dialog appears showing possible new destinations
    4.) Navigate to new destination
    5.) Tap Ok

    The major reason why FX has gone exclusively with the cut/copy strategy is that the "Navigate to new destination" step sometimes involves creating a new folder, a good amount of browsing, searching (currently not available in released versions of FX, but on its way), or other operations.
  25. tcat007

    tcat007 Well-Known Member

    Bookmarks is great addition... I was using "Favorites" in File Expert, this is even better. Put them at the top for direct open. Thanks!

    There's a "Bookmarks" feature within "Network"... if I long-press Network/Windows/bookmark (a particular connection), it doesn't pop up a "Bookmark" option. That would be nice to have a direct connect bookmark in the Bookmark folder.

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