My go-to Android file manager used to be ES File Manager until… today. The free version of the app already had some annoying floating widgets and all sort of things you would be expect to be enabled by default, but the latest version requires you to install an app to enable SAMBA 2.0 support.
I tried to keep up with the requirements, but the ad relies on Google Play services which was not installed in the firmware I used. The easiest way to solve the issue is probably to pay $2.99 for the PRO version, but for firmware without Google Play services it might not be possible to sideload it. So instead, I decided it was time to look for an alternative file manager with SAMBA support, since that’s the main feature I use in an Android file manager while doing reviews.
I found two candidates
- File Commander – Free app with ads and premium features
File Browser by Astro – Free and no ads
I tried both, but I could disqualify File Commander pretty quickly, because it does not seem to like Android devices connected over Ethernet.
As a result the message “No network detected” was shown when clicking on Scan in the Local Network section of the app.
I was more lucky with File Browser by Astro as the app could find my server during a scan, and prompted me for a username, workgroup and password when I clicked on a share.
I could send browse my shares, select folders or files with a long press, and click on the top corner icon to move, copy and compress the selection from the local storage, and copy those to my SAMBA share.
It works just as well as ES File Explorer for my purpose, and no hassles, no ads, it just does the job.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.