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With all the flashy games and sexy apps available for download, it’s easy to forget about the simple utilities that make your desktop or laptop so usable. And the most elementary of all is the file manager. Useful for everyone for insurance field agents to to real estate reps — anyone who needs to keep a variety of files formats together and easily accessible — the unsung file manager is an invaluable arrow in your online quiver.

File Manager

Rhythm Software

File Manager for Adroid

Aside from the usual copy-paste-move, File Manager by Rhythm Software supports three icon sets for 80 file types and 19 languages, compression and decompression, FTP file sharing, and local and remote file systems. Cloud storage services Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive and SugarSync are also supported, and the manager can stream media direct from FTP. There’s also an HD version for tablets. Free. Rating: 4.6 in Google Play

Astro File Manager/Browser


Astro File Manager

From the file browser page, you can swipe right for your remote and cloud —  including Facebook, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and SkyDrive — storage, or left for tools like app backup and SD card management. Astro File Manager/Browser includes image and text view, networking, search and task management functionality. CUrrently supports 11 languages. Free. Rating: 4.4 on Google Play

Root Explorer

Speed Software

Root Explorer

A file manager for Android power users with rooted handsets, Root Explorer access all of Android’s file system. It also includes a text editor, SQLite viewer, archive compression and decompression, search, a binary XML viewer an much more. Speed software says they’ll honour a 24-hour money-back guarantee. $3.99. Rating: 4.8 on Google Play

File Expert Manager Explorer


File Expert Manager Explorer

File Expert Manager Explorer comes with a raft of features beyond simple file management including one-touch clean, NFC file transfer, PC Suite — which allows HTTP sharing as if the phone was a Web server — FTP sharing, cloud management, theme management and more. A Pro plug-in offers a root explorer, memory manager, and silent install/uninstall. Free for limited verson. Rating: 4.5 on Google Play

AndroZip File Manager

Agilesoft Resource


Gilesoft claims 11 million downloads of this archive tool since it launched in 2009. AndroZip supports decompression of ZIP compression on Standard, AES-128 and AES-256 formats (the paid version also encrypts compression. It installs to an SD card and is optimized for tablets. Limited version free. Rating: 4.5 on Google Play




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Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a technology journalist with more than 15 years' experience. He has edited numerous technology publications including Network World Canada, ComputerWorld Canada, Computing Canada and eBusiness Journal. He now runs content development shop Dweeb Media.