When I first entered the Android scene many, many years ago, I was in need of a good file manager. I did a search and found several reviews that recommend apps like Astro File Manager, ES File Explorer and others. None of them quite fit what I wanted so I settled on an app called File Manager (quite imaginative, right?).
The app was developed by Rhythm Software (rhmsoft) and they had put together an awesome app that had all the features I needed. They had regular updates and kept adapting to the changing landscape of Android. I was in love and was never going to leave my beloved File Manager. Then in early 2014 a company I had never heard of, Cheetah Mobile, took over and things began to change. Updates came more regularly but instead of valuable new features they started making it look different, gone was the no-nonsense approach from before. I got pretty tiles, bars, font, etc. That wasn’t a big deal and the app still did what I needed it to so I ignored the “prettiness” and went along for the ride. Then I began to see bloat creeping in, and more bloat and more bloat and more bloat until the app became unusable.
I scrapped File Manager and began looking for another application to fill the void. I found ES File Explorer. It was awesome! I don’t remember why I skipped it the first time but it had everything. It had the file manager, it had root access, it had Dropbox support, and even FTP support for my file servers. I was in heaven! Then something happened. I downloaded an update and began to see the bloat start creeping in. Then more bloat and more. I uninstalled it and began my search again.
Today news broke that ES File Explorer’s bloat has reached a new low. Reports are mixed, but in some cases users are reporting that the update they just received changes their lock screen to a lock screen that magically makes your phone charge faster and if that intrusion wasn’t enough the lock screen has ads. The ads are cleverly placed so that when you swipe to unlock the screen you are almost guaranteed to tap an ad. The new lock screen does not do what it claims and is invasive. It seems like yet another ploy from a developer who is anxious to make an extra buck off the unsuspecting user. Thank you ES Global for ruining an awesome app!
For now I’m using Root Explorer and am very happy with it. Let’s hope the trend doesn’t continue and that I will not be changing file managers again in the future…
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Roy likes to dabble in all things Android and contributes everywhere he can. He owns the site rwilco12.com and its accompanying forum, he develops his own apps and ROM’s, is a Moderator and Recognized Developer on XDA-Developers.com and is the VP of Public Relations for AndroidFileHost.com.