Official File Manager for Windows Phone 8.1
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Official File Manager for Windows Phone 8.1 due in May, here's what it looks like

If there’s one feature that people have been asking for on Windows Phone 8.1 is a proper file manager. Developers have been busy making third-party versions, but now Microsoft has announced via Reddit that an official File Manager app is in the works. Even better, the app may be released as early as the end of May. (We stress ‘may’ as things can change, but Microsoft is aiming for that time-frame).

Not much else was revealed about the app, but there were six screenshots posted of what it looks like. Users will be able to create folders, move files and do what comes normal to these types of apps. We’re hoping this quells enthusiasts who want the maximum control over their devices.

Official File Manager for Windows Phone 8.1

Official File Manager for Windows Phone 8.1

What do you think of the app so far? Do you think Microsoft has nailed it with this version?

Source: Reddit

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Reader comments

Official File Manager for Windows Phone 8.1 due in May, here's what it looks like

390 Comments

Sam I knew this was coming...main reason I never bought any of the File explorers at the store.WOW! And whats up with the smiley face at the top right corner? Cortana?

Just wondering, is it able to transfer files(i.e: phone to SD card) in the background (while off the app)? Or background transfer to the cloud?

I love pfm as well. You could also play your vids directly from the videos SD card folder using moliplayer thanks to pfm

I hope this means Microsoft will soon be updating the default Mail app's ability to attach multiple files in one email, those files being of multiple various formats.

The mail app needs more work done. Need to be able to save attachments. I can save MP3s and MP4's to my phone via Internet Exploer but can't do it through the mail app. 

I have absolutely no user for this, but I'm glad it will be there soon... hopefully it will stop the bitching.

You're kidding yourself. People always find things to bitch about no matter how much you give them or do for them.

Funny that that supposed 'verified' MS insider in a recent Reddit AMA explicitly said that no file manager was coming to WP. This kind of cuts across his cred a little....

Not a feature I was looking to have, but more options are a good thing, as well as having parity with other platforms.

I sometimes save files/pictures that I don't find on my phone right after. They then pop up after a couple of days...File exploere will help with this.

Most of the changes you see now, are because Ballmer started them, Satya has nothing to do with it. Sadly he's the one getting al the credits for it, through.

I know, LOL. Bro's been in charge for like a week and everyone loves him for some reason. I saw a picture of him on stage doing a presentation wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I must be old-fashioned, but I'm not impressed. Let's check back in two years and see how he's doing. I do think MS is currently on the right track.

Your absolutely right. Although maybe its good that people give Satya all the credit. Sometimes it takes hype around a brand new CEO for people to realize a company has changed.

Good point Aaron. Attribution is far less important to MS than overall public perception and they need all the goodwill they can get there, no matter who is "responsible" for the roll they have been on of late (and for the record I agree this is thanks to the leadership of Ballmer)

Agreed. People make it sound as if in a couple of months Satya finished Office for the iPad, made Windows 8 for under 9" and WP free, etc... All of this stuff is Ballmer carryover. Talk to me next year to see what Satya had done at MS.

Not sadly. He's here to stay so its good if he gets a positive reputation even if its not his doing. Most CEO's get blamed or praised for stuff they hardly had anything to do with. Besides if he sees the last actions of Ballmer are received postively then he might follow the same course (even if behind the scenes he already made steps towards another direction).

 

I do think Ballmer got too much blame. The guy is a goof ball and probably not the best guy to be Microsoft's CEO. But he wasn't all bad. Vista wasnt his fault (he inherited) and Windows 7 turned out great. He also dared to sign off on Windows Phone and later Windows 8. Not entirely fantastic products but a much needed change for Microsoft.

Like Obama getting blamed for the current state of the US when it's actually Bush who fucked the country and then tossed him the keys in the parking lot...

True. Just like how Obama didn't create No Child Left Behind or start a hundred trillion dollar war that will inevitably result in China owning the US financially. Or buy his first presidency. Or take advantage of one of the greatest tragedies in American history to manufacture the necessary approval for his second term AND the aforementioned immoral war.

Obama could have ended No child left behind. Quite frankly, Obama continued an aweful lot of policies that carried over from Bush. Politicians make a lot of promises when they campaign. When they actually get into office and get briefed about the reality of the situation, they realize they can't really keep many of their policies because they are not practical. Even Bush can't be blamed for all the economic mess. The real estate bubble started during Clinton and many of the policies for giving loans to people who normally don't qualify and easing interest rates also started then. Of course, Bush continued those policies.

Really? The guys been president for a full term and change and it's still Bush's fault. You need to stop watching MSNBC and educate yourself man.

The OP was just drawing on a well known analog that exists in politics. That's all.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of opinion on the matter and how people recollect things. :) 

Ballmer had zero communication. He treated everything they were working on like an industrial secret. Nadella knows how to communicate with users. We've learned everything they have going in just a few weeks and it'll keep people from jumping ship and maybe encourage others to get onboard.

The negative side of that is that the competition knows what you are doing and can react. The secrecy thing worked well for Apple. They key is if you keep things a secret, make sure that the product is ready to go when you announce it. Microsoft tends to announce things and you can't buy the product for months after the announcement.

Welcome addition. Although PFM does the job well for me including integrating various clouds and ability to copy paste from phone to cloud / cloud to cloud. It'd be interesting if OneDrive evolves as both cloud and local file manager.

Man it also has a fully featured ftp server for accessing your sd card wirelessly. What more could you ask for ? Now i think for 8.1 it also has ftp support for phone memory. Accessing phone via WiFi, epic !

Given the poor performance of the previously native apps that are now separate from the OS, eg music, video and games, I hope that never happens.

So you don't want that sad excuse of an Office suite to improve or even OneNote to get the features that the iOS version got recently then?

You are aware that you are infact using very early betas of those apps right? their subpar, bwecause they are far from ready for release, if your gonna judge an OS based on its beta, then you sire, do not belong in the OS preview.

Im certain all these apps that were split will be atleast on par with the 8.0 equivelent by the time the official 8.1 rollout starts.

Phones with 8.1 ship this month dude. Stop saying "very early betas"..they aren't. MS need to work OT to fix em by the time phones ship

Which is the exact reason why they separated them from the OS, so they can get far more updates even after WP8.1 is released. They have a list of features they are going to implement.

I will not stop calling them early betas because.. They are. The os may be nearly done, but the apps certainly aren't, you are aware, the the music app we got with 8.1 was the EXACT same build that was released as a preview to music pass subscribers right? That's a pretty fucking early beta, you, deal with issues, relating to stuff being unfinished, or gtfo of a beta.

I'm led to believe that's been fixed in kitkat with better memory management just a shame most current devices won't get it. Too many cheap and nasty Android handsets on the market that would benefit from the update.

It most certainly is not fixed in 4.4. Im using my GS4 every day running on 4.4 KitKat and I can assure you lag is still noticeable. This is magical Project Butter all over again just some fucking PR trash.

Please. That's no longer valid. Android has the biggest market share and that's a good reason for it. On the other hand, WP is still having the pathetic low 5% only share.

If you think devices sell because of market share, then nobody would even look at an iMac or MacBook......market share doesn't justify the device as being good.As far as I know, the Lumia 520 is still the best low end performer as compared to many android devices out there,which are absolutely terrible in terms of quality and performance.

I live close to Mr Suchet, and have read all the books and love the show! What else can I say lol

Oh and yes, Sherlock and Poirot, alongside Jeeves and Wooster got me through boarding school so hey! ;)

As Naren Parker pointed out, Pocket File Manager already does what Microsoft is proposing, plus has integration with Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. Microsoft should have just bought PFM and called it a day.

I love PFM and I will continue to use, but the MS file manager can access all the user folders without using the "file picker" for adding each folder.

Exactly what I was thinking, why does everyone think "it's Windows Phone, so it should have all the features my PC has"!!!!

Umm, you do realize that you can do more than just talk on the computing device we carry around that still has the "Phone" label?

To say it's a phone is really the *Facepalm*

It's a computer in your hand, we should want it to be more powerful and capable of doing much much more, why limit yourself and your thinking?

I too would like to see Network browsing and FTP, this would make this device that much more useful for me. Those who don't need it, simply won't use it.

Do you play games on your "phone?" Do you listen to music on your "phone?" Do you watch videos on your "phone?" Do you take pictures on your "phone?"
You need to stop that shit, it's a phone, jackass.
I work for a living. I manage offices. I have employees. I have to coordinate and manage information on the go and I am sick and GD tired of having to hotspot a tablet or computer in my car, at a restaurant, at the golf course, at a hockey game, at a baseball game, etc... You may clock out at McDonald's. People with careers and employers trying to keep their employees and their children fed don't.

This is how you should answer people who give this stupid argument -" it's a phone". This is Apple's doing, just to sell more iOS devices & Macs. 

Hope it has an address bar and can tap into network places. And rich context menus with actions like open with, copy/cut/paste, properties. And drag and drop. And...

Whatever they name it. It would be great to change the extension of files so that they we can play any file.

Yet it can't use Win32 to run apps except those preinstalled to run on the desktop. The only reason Win32 is there in Windows RT is to run Office, once that moves to the Modern UI then RT has no use for the Desktop and Win32, so MS could remove it.

Running apps is not a component of windows explorer. It's an app unto itself and has been compiled for RT.

Maybe you'd want a desktop as well. I mean, hell, it's a Windows Phone so why shouldn't it be running Windows 8.1 Update 1 instead!!!! /s

File manager was totally unnecessary but I'm glad it will silence many of them complaining about it just because Android has it.

Just because? No jackass, I deal with files and clients all day every day on the road and in the office. If we wanted a locked down pile of crap system we would have iPhones. Next time, it's you that doesn't need a file manager.

explain why this means you need a file manager?
if you deal with files directly, thats already a usability fail. whatever app on your phone needs to access the file should have a way of getting it. you shouldn't need to find it yourself and then grab it.

The filepicker tool that they're giving to devs is bad enough... its exposing that data is stored in a filesystem (as opposed to, say, a database or fetched through a restful web API).

I deal with files all day every day, in a cellular retail setting no less, and I've used a file manager on any device three times in my entire tenure with T-Mobile, and all three were to force an APK onto an old Android device that the Play Store wouldn't install to because it was too old. Keep in mind, I've got probably 30 or 40 active documents I use on a monthly basis, and my WP (and hell, even my iPad) manage them perfectly fine. Just because you don't know how to manage your files without the traditional CLI inspired folder structure, doesn't make it impossible. Learn your device, don't expect your device to tread backwards in time for you.

Having a file manager allows you to group files and documents that might not otherwise have been grouped by your phone's operating system. I'm a software developer & also dab into music+videos etc... If I want to group an album, with a short video and maybe some documents to go with it and send it off via email its a lot quicker to do it using a file manager. I have many use cases similar, which makes having one particularly useful to me. And I don't want to do this using skydrive.

Subdirectory support is totally unnecessary as well, all files can sit at the root.  Why even use files, just connect the file IO APIs to SQL Server BLOBs.

As long as the underlying filesystem supports a heirarchical structure, and this structure is presented to the end users (which it is), then users should be provided a mechanism for moving their files around in this structure.  The photo album is a perfect example.  No way to move anything from one album (which is really a directory) to another.
 

its only presented to the end users via this file manager...
If apps choose to present content as files, thats their choice. users shouldn't need to know how data is stored.

It actually wasn't unnecessary. Why do people think they are the centre of the universe? Is it so hard to imagine a world where people utilise devices in a different manner than you do? Jesus Christ man.

i love MS produced apps, their standard is set pretty high. It shows what others can do with Windows phone especially WP8.1, since they now open up lots of new things.

Are you talking about the desktop file manager? it is not possible at all.

If you are talking about the file picker in Windows 8.1, WP8.1 have the same functionality, you can access to OneDrive and local folders using File Picker, the same than Windows 8.1 file picker.

Looks like it does everything a file manager should do. I personally have no use for one but I'll install it when it comes out for the occasion that I may need it.

Great! With this I can finally organize my photos in albums on the phone. Hopefully thou I want the option to create a new album and move photos there right in the photos hub!

The whole problem with Modern/Metro is lack of drag to select, and drop to move or copy. Nothing beats that simplicity.

I suppose you have a point. However, it isn't necessarily the UI design. I think it could work with the Metro design. When you move tiles around on the home screen, they just sort of float there. Maybe, if MS added that feature to the Pic hub, when you select a pic or multiple pics and float the to a folder that you can create in the Pic hub. Just a thought.

It's about time.  Folders are infintely more scalable than the current long, and even longer list of eveything, songs, apps, tiles, etc.  It's an old concept the MS blindly abandoned.   Welcome back!  Next time when a new kid came along and tried to remove a feature, ask for a logical reason first.  Now please add back task manager at the DLL level so we can find out what the heck is causing this battery drain.  A scrollbar will be good for those long web pages as well.

No need for task manager, battery saver is what you need. Also a task manager won't show you battery drain.

apps should provide a means of arranging content that they own.
users shouldn't need to know that its backed by a file system. it could be joined tables in a database.

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