1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

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

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by tliebeck, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Hello all,

    FX 1.0.0 is now available!

    This release is a fairly trivial update to 1.0.rc2, just a few minor bugfixes. It's available on the Google Play Store in the usual place: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nextapp.fx

    The final beta expiration date is extended one more week, to September 27. Note that if you do a clean install of FX (i.e., if you don't have a previous beta installed), the beta-trial-mode won't turn on. If you need to work around this, download an old version first, e.g.: http://android.nextapp.com/fx/r188/FX.apk and install it. Then open the old version and agree to the license agreement (this will store a setting indicating that you have used the beta). Then upgrade to the new version.

    The paid "FX Plus" add-on is available here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nextapp.fx.rk (~$3) and the root add-on is here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nextapp.fx.rr (~$2).

    Thanks again to everyone for all the help in testing FX. Though this may be 1.0, the intent is very much to continue development...there are quite a few features that I'd like to see go in, e.g. WebDAV, NFC, Wifi Direct, more cloud services, network search, select-by-mask...actually too much to list. Please feel free to continue with the suggestions, they're greatly appreciated.


    If anyone who previously posted in this thread would find it difficult for any reason to purchase it (e.g you don't have a Play Store account, or you're in college and it would interfere with your refreshment budget), please drop me a PM with your email address.


    Crashdamage likes this.
  2. bruce73

    bruce73 Android Enthusiast

    Update: I installed the latest version of FX from the Store, and now when I try to view it says "cannot read file." The Android Archive Viewer can open it, btw.
    tliebeck likes this.
  3. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, and sorry to not reply earlier. The archive extractor currently can't handle "streaming content URLs" being sent to it, only actual files. The crash bug was fixed (I think in rc2) but the underlying problem still needs to be corrected.

    The reason for this issue is that Zip files need to be accessed randomly rather than sequentially. What we'll wind up doing is writing the streamed zip file to a temporary location such that we have a file to work with.
  4. bruce73

    bruce73 Android Enthusiast

    Ah, OK, thanks for the explanation, Tod. :)
  5. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    1.0.2 is now available. This is a bugfix release, adding the following improvements relative to 1.0.0:

    • Added measures to help prevent FX background transfers from being stopped by aggressive task killers.
    • Fixed issues with uploading multiple files to some FTP servers.
    • Added simple root access diangostics to System Status screen.
    • Added capability to bookmark network and cloud destinations directly from the network/cloud home screens.
    • Fixed bug when setting background that has already been perfectly resized to device screen.
    • Fixed bug where keyring password could timeout during file transfers.
    • Fixed bug related to pinch-zoom responsiveness in image viewer.
    Crashdamage likes this.
  6. KaosStorm

    KaosStorm Well-Known Member

    This is one of those apps that I've been waiting to buy for a long time, just because the beta was amazing and the dev is very open and responsive about various issues. Money well spent, imho. Keep up the good work, you have a faithful user here.
    tliebeck likes this.
  7. Jacksmyname

    Jacksmyname Well-Known Member

    I bought both add-ons.
    Excellent app.
    tliebeck likes this.
  8. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    FX 1.1.0 is now available.

    Key changes include:

    • Root module is now a free add-on. If you previously purchased this module, please email android@nextapp.com with your name and Google Order Number if you would like a refund. DO NOT send any credit card information. See below for details.
    • Added support for Android 4.2 (fixed cosmetic bookmark and storage location issues).
    • Added external subtitle support for remote streamed videos (subtitle file must be named identically to video)
    • Text Editor: Added undo/redo pinch-to-zoom, search, volume-key cursor control, and shortcut keys for devices with physical-keyboards.
    • Text Viewer: Added pinch-to-zoom. Added menu shortcut to open files with editor from viewer.
    • Binary Viewer: Performance improvements, added pinch-to-zoom.
    • General performance improvements and bugfixes.
    • Added support for exploring and extracting APK and JAR files (available via "Open With").

    The root module is now a free app. If you purchased it and would like a refund, please email android@nextapp.com with your name and order number, but WITHOUT any credit/bank card information. Again, DO NOT send any credit/bank card info, being as all orders are through Google Play it is not the least bit helpful in issuing refunds.

    The Plus module will of course continue as a paid app.

    The root module will continue to be a separate add-on. I think I prefer it this way, so as lessen any possibility of misuse by novices, and to avoid FX being classified as a tool solely for technical users.

    Additionally, I'm considering allowing distribution of FX within custom ROMs. (Only the main app and free root app would be allowed, NOT the Plus add-on). The requirements here would be that:

    • You use a stock FX APK. It must not be decompiled/modified or re-signed.
    • It must be possible to upgrade to later versions of FX via the Google Play Store.
    • It must be possible to install the FX Plus add-on and have it work.
    • There must be some way for users to remove it from their installation (i.e., I don't want to ever be considered bloatware).

    I'm not a ROM developer, but I believe these requirements could be met. If anyone who is more experienced here could provide any insight, I'd greatly appreciate it. Specifically I'm curious as to whether FX could be preinstalled into the /data directory, or whether it would have to reside in /system.

    Additionally I'd like to offer a means of allowing ROM developers to customize the default settings of FX...possibly just including a preferences.xml would be adequate. For instance, I can see devs wanting to remove the "Add-Ons" section from the FX home screen by default, which would be perfectly fine with me.

    As to why this is being done: I simply want more people to be exposed to be FX, and I think free root access may be a great way to do it.
    Jacksmyname and Crashdamage like this.
  9. KegHead

    KegHead Member


    I'm a FX+ user!

    It's one of the best Android apps out there!

    I started using the early beta version.

    Keep up the great work!

    tliebeck likes this.
  10. Chip_365

    Chip_365 Member

    At 4+ MB's, it's too big an app for what I need. Quite nice but do you offer a more bare bones version for just working with data & without any media player functions. I would prefer a much smaller file manager app but with data functions such as FTP Cloud use. I use QuickPic for images & the stock video player as I don't use video much.

    Last time that I tried the app, copy, paste & especially MOVE function needed to be MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH easier. Too many keystrokes were required. Have a look at QuickPic for a Move To function. Why he can do it easier than Fx I wonder?

    I'd consider buying a no media version with a quick move to function.
  11. bruce73

    bruce73 Android Enthusiast

    I've been following the Beta for the better part of this year, and opted for the Plus version (more to support development rather than for the extra options). Great work!

    Question: I tried to create a new text file with the Editor, but it wouldn't let me save it to either internal or external storage ("File can't be written to." ) . What am I missing?

    And: are you planning on including the ability to password protect ZIP files? That would be a welcome addition.
  12. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Sorry for the *long* delay in reply here, I managed to get un-subscribed from this thread again.

    Password-protected zip files (AES) is on the todo list. I don't have an exact ETA. Regarding the text editor, I'm not certain what's going on here. Can you edit changes to existing files? I've not seen this before (unless you're working on system partitions without root access, which it sound like you're not doing).
  13. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    FX 1.2 is now available on the Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nextapp.fx

    The major new feature in this release is "Usage View", which is designed to help you determine what files/folders on your device are taking up the most space. It shows information about the content and size of each folder in a file listing. It additionally displays information about what type of files are in a given folder structure.

    Usage View is accessible from any local file window (it can't work over a network). To access it, tap the View menu and select "Usage View". Usage View is disabled when you exit a file view. It's not a "permanent" mode yet like "Icon View" or "List View".

    A screenshot:

    Usage View adds a graphic indicator next to each folder/file showing its relative consumption of space. The indicator is on a logarithmic scale. It's intended to show relative size. For example, the Android folder in the screenshot above is consuming 15% of the space, but the indicator is nearly 3/4 filled. Something using 15% of your storage space is quite large.

    Above the files is a horizontally scrolling toolbar (but on a tablet such as this Nexus 7, it doesn't need to scroll). The first pie chart shows how much space the current directory is using relative to other folders and free space on its storage medium. The second pie chart shows the percentage of space occupied by each class of file. "Documents" include plain text files and content types of common Office/OpenOffice documents.

    More screenshots:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Usage View also works as the root user. The display when using root access is a bit different. The breakdown by file type is removed. Mounted filesystems are shown with Pie charts indicating their used/available space:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    FX 1.2 also has improvements to its thumbnailing system. Thumbnails are now larger and cropped to a square form factor. Thumbnails are now shown on all cloud storage services with FX Plus (Google Drive, SugarSync, Box, Dropbox, and SkyDrive).
    Crashdamage likes this.
  14. bruce73

    bruce73 Android Enthusiast

    No, editing existing files weren't the problem. It was creating a new one.

    But I'm trying to reproduce the error now and I can't. I don't remember exactly what I was doing before that caused it. If it comes up again I'll get back.
    tliebeck likes this.
  15. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, appreciate it! FX 1.1.0 and 1.1.1 did make some fairly substantial changes to the text editor (though not to correct this issue as I wasn't aware of it). There's always a chance it was fixed as a result though.
  16. JimmyTheSaint

    JimmyTheSaint Well-Known Member

    Longtime user, purchaser, and donator here. I request the ability to bookmark files so that other apps can launch those files directly by accessing the bookmark. I posted about it here:


    My current workaround is to use File Manager, but since I use FX for everything else, it would be nice to also use FX. What's more, my text files launch with FX TextEdit, so I could uninstall File Manager if not for its ability to create bookmarks.
    tliebeck likes this.
  17. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the suggestion, this does sound like a good idea! Likely would limit file bookmarks to being added to the Android homescreen rather than adding them into the FX bookmarks section.
  18. JimmyTheSaint

    JimmyTheSaint Well-Known Member

    Actually, I don't even need to put a bookmark on a homescreen. My current need is to allow my gesture creation app (GMD Gesture Control) to associate a gesture with a file. I've now started using X-plore File Manager instead of File Manager because it's a bit easier. Bookmarks created this way don't appear on a homescreen, and I also don't find them in the app. All I know is that they're accessible to associate with a gesture, which is a neater solution than having to also put the bookmark on a screen somewhere.
    tliebeck likes this.
  19. JimmyTheSaint

    JimmyTheSaint Well-Known Member

    Eh? Simply swipe all the filenames that you want to select.
    tliebeck likes this.
  20. JimmyTheSaint

    JimmyTheSaint Well-Known Member

    I would really like to be able to use FX to connect to my NAS's WebDAV.
    tliebeck likes this.
  21. JimmyTheSaint

    JimmyTheSaint Well-Known Member

    FX's Text Editor doesn't scroll smoothly. In other words, when you swipe, it doesn't continue to use inertia to continue the scroll after you life your finger from the screen. Can you implement standard scroll behavior?
    tliebeck likes this.
  22. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I'll look into this...the text editor is based on Android's built in editor control, need to see if it's practical to do so. (When I say "practical", I'm trying to keep the editor fairly compact, don't want to add functionality if it requires rewriting large portions of the Android editor).

    Apologies for not replying more promptly to your earlier posts, I managed to get unsubscribed to this thread again. :)

    Regarding your earlier posts: File bookmarks are now possible in 1.4.1, they can be added as launcher shortcuts (but not as bookmarks on the "FX Home Screen").

    WebDAV is becoming a priority, especially due to software like "OwnCloud". I don't think it's going to make the 1.5.0 cut (as that one is rolling soon).
  23. JimmyTheSaint

    JimmyTheSaint Well-Known Member

    Nice WebDAV support in 1.5! I'm able to save txt files I edit with Text Editor back to my server. Is there any possibility of enabling the same kind of saving with other file types (pdf, docx, xslx), or is that strictly up to devs of apps dedicated to those file types? Currently, when I open file types other than txt, FX says: "document has been opened from DATA stream. changes cannot be saved." I (and others) would really like to be able to save those changes back to the server instead of storing locally on the phone. That would free us from Dropbox. Perhaps comment on this at Synology's forums.
    tliebeck likes this.
  24. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I'm not certain if it's possible or practical to do so, I need to look into it more. As far as I can tell, Android's "content providers" don't offer the capability for the client application (i.e. your word processor/spreadsheet app) to write back changes to a file. Documentation is a bit thin here in the API.

    Alternatively we could provide a temporary file and monitor it for changes, but a such a design would have significant potential problems.

    Probably the best way to offer such functionality would be add a "synchronization" feature to FX.
  25. JimmyTheSaint

    JimmyTheSaint Well-Known Member

    After saving, TextEdit closes the keyboard. I save a lot and virtually never want to dismiss the keyboard after saving. But it's a major pain because the only way to open the keyboard is to touch somewhere in the current file. But if you use a small font in order to see a lot of info, it's impossible to touch in exactly the right spot, so you then have to do some cursor movements to get back to where you were after a save. Operating one-handed, whether on my S4 or Note 2, this is quite difficult, turning saving a simple text file into quite a difficult operation. Can you add an option to leave the keyboard open upon saving? Or at least add a menu item to open and close the keyboard so that I can maintain the current cursor position?
    tliebeck likes this.

Share This Page