Files by Google: Android’s file browser, at long last

Chris Burns - Nov 8, 2018, 10:31 am CDT
Files by Google: Android’s file browser, at long last

Since my first Android phone, I wondered why I had to go to the app store to get an app that’d allow me to look at the files on my phone. I’d been spoiled by the idea that, since smartphones running iOS and Android looked somewhat like they were running desktop operating systems, they should also have easy access to the files they carried. Now, over a decade after Google first acquired Android, they’ve released a a proper file management app.

Files by Google is an app that’s very, very similar to what was first presented in the Android Go app called Files Go. It’s so extremely similar that, actually, it’s the same app. The release today isn’t actually a full new app release, it’s a sort of rebranding.

It may have been that Files Go was meant for Android Go users – especially those in developing countries where limited phone storage is still a very real issue – weird! “Files Go was built to solve file and storage management problems for the next generation of smartphone users in countries such as India, Brazil and Nigeria,” said Google UX Lead, Next Billion Users, Koji Pereira. “It helped people make the most of limited phone storage, enjoy their favorite videos and music, and send apps to each other at blazing speeds without using mobile data.”

Despite its intended audience, Files Go was installed by millions of users with phones of all sorts. Google suggested today that Files Go recently had 30-million monthly users worldwide. Now comes the rebranding. Now it’s more clear that this app is for everyone.

Axing the word “Go,” this app is now called Files by Google. It’s obvious that Google made it, and it’s fairly obvious that it’s made to browse files on Android devices. If you already have Files Go, you already have Files by Google. If you want to find and download Files by Google for the first time, you’ll just need to search “Files by Google” in the Google Play app store (or just click that link at the start of this sentence).

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