Software

Commander One offers Mac users a potent Finder alternative

OS X Finder, Apple's integrated file management application, doesn't perform all the tasks a demanding Mac user might require. That's where Eltima's Commander One comes in. Erik Eckel explains.

Commander One
Image: Erik Eckel

Apple has continually improved Finder, OS X's integrated file management program. Mac users can now leverage multiple tabs, tagging, and sharing from directly within the application, but it still possesses limitations. Eltima Software's Commander One Pro Pack, which costs $29.95 (USD), offers Mac users an El Capitan-compatible dual-pane file manager. While many Mac users have become accustomed to simply opening two Finder windows to navigate and copy and move files between folders, devices, and drives, an old-school two-pane view offers convenient efficiencies and simplifies the process.

Command One, programmed in Swift, is designed for iOS, OS X, and Watch OS. The application enables creating, renaming, editing, deleting, copying, and moving files and folders. Like Finder, it also supports multi-tabbed browsing and Quick Look viewing. The tool's more advanced functionality, however, permits programming custom hotkeys for common actions, enables easily displaying hidden files, and includes ZIP compression support.

Eltima's Pro Pack adds an FTP client, the ability to mount iOS-powered iPhones and iPads to administer files on those devices, additional compression (RAR, TarGz and 7zip) support, a Terminal emulator, and Dropbox integration, among other features. Using Commander One, files can also be renamed when copying and moving.

Installing the program is a simple process. Just download the 13.7 MB commander.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the application, which consumes just 31.3MB when installed. The setup routine greets the user with a splash page highlighting the applications features and functionality. The next installation screen touts the features included with the Pro Pack and announces the Pro Pack upgrade's Dropbox integration. Next, OS X alerts the user that Commander One seeks to control the computer using accessibility features, which you can choose to enable by opening System Preferences or Deny. With valid system administrator credentials provided, the application installation completes.

I tested the application's Dropbox integration as part of the process. Moving a few hundred files to Dropbox introduced a noticeable delay, which the application alerted me to by counting how many files had transferred, so far. When I used Commander One to transfer the same files to another directory on the hard drive, of course, the file moves occurred essentially instantaneously.

I've always found that a dual-pane view simplifies file management. The ease of reviewing and navigating two different locations, including different device and network shares, within the same application view makes for easier work when moving files and folders. Certainly, I've found that it's a convenient application to keep handy on the Dock.

What experience do you have with Commander One? Let us know in the discussion thread below.

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About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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