An upcoming Google Android app called Files Go could help cut down on mobile data usage by supporting data-less file transfers.
Using Bluetooth, Files Go lets users share, manage, and delete files without using mobile data. Additional tools like a file search feature are available, and could be useful for business users.
Files Go also acts as a storage manager, suggesting rarely used apps and duplicate photos that can be deleted to free up storage space. The main screen shows how much storage is being used, and also shows different ways to clear space. Options include a simple clean cache button and browsing through items received through apps.
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The file-sharing interface is similar to Apple's AirDrop, featuring the user at the center and nearby contacts in surrounding circles. The file sharing process is also like AirDrop's: The user asks a contact to open the app and click "receive" to grab a shared file.
Since Androids aren't Apple products and can't use AirDrop, Google's app may not overlap with Apple's file-sharing feature.
File Go's ability to work offline should be helpful for a variety of people, especially business users who are working from the field or another spot with less-than-reliable cell service. It can also help people working on a device without unlimited data, or those in emerging markets.
An unreleased version of the app is available for early access testing in the Play Store, but this testing is now full, according to 9to5Google. The Play Store page warns users that the unreleased version may be unstable. The app may become fully available in early December, according to TechCrunch.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Google is preparing to launch an Android file-sharing app that doesn't require mobile data.
- Users share files using a drag-and-drop method similar to AirDrop. Users can also delete, manage, and search files.
- The app's ability to work offline may be especially helpful in areas with touchy cell coverage and emerging markets.
- Google G Suite: 10 new features heading your way in 2017 (TechRepublic)
- Google's new Android app: Manage storage, share files without using mobile data (ZDNet)
- How to set up Google Team Drives (TechRepublic)
- Google Calendar gets new business features (ZDNet)
- Could new G Suite features entice enterprise users to switch from Office 365? (TechRepublic)
Olivia Krauth is a Multiplatform Reporter at TechRepublic.