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11-07-2013 10:25 PM
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  1. lumiadeb's Avatar
    I have been seeing some threads here that suggest that Windows Phone needs a file explorer. And I really don't see why...

    As long as I am concered my Phone is an extension of my laptop, tablet or PC. I use it to take a quick look at documents, check my calendar, listen to music, read the news whenever I am not "in office" or at home and I check directions every now and then.

    However I see people having the need to have a file explorer that can cut, copy and move files from one place to another...I don't understand however why this is needed. I am perfecty happy with how Windows Phone 8 manages files. Sure they should improve the Skydrive app and maybe add a bit more options to the office hub. but in general the only things that need I "files" for are in the following two.

    Music and video (+podcasts)
    Video's and music are neatly sorted in the xboxmusic app. (sure it's not perfect, but I'm pretty sure that any other music player allows for a nice librarie full of your mp3's). Podcasts are pulled in via a 3the party app on my Phone (since Microsoft doesn't support podcasts in Belgium yet)

    Word, PDF and everything productive...
    Everything can be found in the office app. It's perfectly organized and It allows you to store files, pick them up from Skydrive and use them as you see fit. Even lost mail attachements are there. I have used it extensively when going on a trip and saved every guide, map and information on my Phone. It was perfectly accessible through the office hub.

    I can understand and respect the need for a file explorer by some of you. I am just wondering why it is needed so badly. More than often I see threads about what Windows Phone needs. Some people seem to name features of Android or iOS that are desperatly needed for Windows Phone while I am of the opionion that Windows Phone does these things extremely well and even better than their counterparts. I love the hub system in Windows Phone and it saddens me that some users want to change it to a more generic android-like system. It would be nice to see a few use cases on why there is need for a file explorer.



    Dear Aardappleboom,
    If u stop seeing your situation as the ideal situation and the only situation,you would have realized why so many people are asking for a file explorer.Let's not try to strangle wishes by justifying even the shortcomings because that hinders urge for development.You need pointers.So,here they come:
    1.When phones became smartphones,they started their journey towards being pocketable computers.Otherwise,why cramp 64 gb memory into it?So,if you fill your 32 gb internal and 32 gb external with thousands of songs and several thousands of photos,wouldn't you need to organize them in your own way?or you prefer a scrollnswipemania?
    2.Necessity invents invention.File explorers have been a salient feature of smartphones since the Symbian days because it is essential.May be wp8 is oversmart but imagine a book with no index.You can see everything by turning and turning and turning its pages.Only thing is that you will need half an hour to find out a specific content you need.
    3.Copy,cut,paste and customized folders are essential features of a file explorer.Now,take a situation.On Christmas Day or on a family picnic day,you shot 150 photos.wp8 would put them all under the same date.But won't you like to put them into folders like PARENT'S,WIFE,FRIENDS etc?

    Sent from my Lumia using Tapatalk
    Ek-Balam likes this.
    11-05-2013 01:54 AM
  2. ag1986's Avatar
    Although it's apparent sarcasm, little ole him that you're mocking is the general consumer that's in the market for a smartphone. Everyone that purchases a smartphone aren't going to use the full capabilities of it, and the majority wouldn't be able to tell you what a file explorer is. Again, it's nice to have options, but don't knock the platform because something like this is missing. If we were talking about FFC support, more major apps missing than the ones we had, lack of gyroscope and compass, no productivity & banking apps, on top of bottom of the barrel sales, I would agree. But file explorer and, dare I say, a notification center, seems to be at best trivial and preferential. There are times where I want a separate volume control and better internet browser options, but I'm more than sure everyone (majorly referring to the general consumer) would not give a damn. If these features pop up down the line, I'm all for it cause that's more people being happier with the platform, but if they don't then oh well.
    I think you underestimate the average consumer. I understand that anecdotes are not data, but let me share one here anyway - this may be specific to the India market

    I visited home (India, Hyderabad to be specific) recently and my sister happened to break her GS3 Mini. I didn't want to buy her an expensive replacement because I plan to get us both Nexus 5s in January, so we went shopping for a cheap phone. Obviously, the Lumia 520 is better for her since all she does is call, text and Whatsapp, and she can keep it for a spare phone once she gets her Nexus. Like many people have said here, the salesman actively dissuaded us from buying a Lumia. Why? The return and complaint rates are extremely high. One major reason for this, he said, is the lack of a file manager.

    Thing is, in a market like India your smartphone is more often than not your only computing device. People don't always have desktops or laptops, even or should I say especially students. They need this ability since the phone is their USB flash drive, media player, storage, everything.
    11-05-2013 02:58 AM
  3. Ezhik's Avatar
    My argument is that it's necessary for phablets - devices even of that size are qualified enough to be the only computing device a person has - but then it just makes no sense to hide away that functionality from devices that are an inch smaller.
    11-05-2013 04:52 AM
  4. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    I see this thread will start heading in the direction of the other thread that discusses this topic to death. The other thread was a disaster and the reasons for having a file explorer never seem to be well made.

    Anyway, let's get to the bare bones of this discussion.

    On one side we have a group of people who firmly believe that a smartphone is mostly used for consumption these days and that a file explorer is confusing and not necessary.
    On the other side we have a group who firmly believe that smartphones are small computers and require some form of file management as it's a requirement for them.
    In the middle, you have people like me who believe that WP needs to do things better but not using a typical file manager approach.

    Now for those who don't know the iPhone uses a similar system to WP in regards to documents, they use a sort of hub system. This should give you an indication of who MS was targeting with WP. They also don't do the attach file to email for documents. However, their APIs are open enough that good file explorer apps have been made and can be used by those who want one. If this is a good strategy I don't know as I'm not a programmer.

    The other issue is surrounding the implementation of the SD card. Personally I think this was a huge mistake made by Nokia and MS. They should have avoided this and made a standard 16GB for low end phones. 99% of the complaints with file managers are based on not being able to access the SD cards internally on the phone. The SD is very limited on what files can be used on it. This I personally believe is a poor implementation and causes no end of issues. However, I will say this, I think documents on a SD card should be allowed, but not apps. I don't agree with this side loading nonsense. That's old school. We're not Android here.

    So I'm a bit confused by those who want a file manager so badly. If the phone is your 'only' computing device what files are you worried about? How do you go about transferring files about? We keep hearing Skydrive isn't an option but then I hear words like 'email'. I don't get it. It's the same thing isn't it?

    You can store any file you want on the SD card (using it like a USB storage) and on the phone. You can put documents (PDFs, Office) in the document folder on your phone and use them. You can store files on Skydrive and share them.

    So where is the system falling down for you? Is it only with the SD storage? Is you phone storage completely used up? Do you not know about the folders in the phone storage or how to use them correctly? If you don't have access to WiFi or data how are you transferring files? Bluetooth?

    These are things I'd like clarified. Please explain to everyone how you use your phone, in simple language, without anger, so that we can understand your needs. It's a bit confusing if we don't see what you're doing or how you do it or why.
    sahib lopez, cckgz4 and a5cent like this.
    11-05-2013 06:15 AM
  5. Optiplex330's Avatar


    You can store any file you want on the SD card (using it like a USB storage) and on the phone. You can put documents (PDFs, Office) in the document folder on your phone and use them. You can store files on Skydrive and share them.
    I know I can put office documents (words, excel and pdf etc) into SD card. Please teach me how to use phone's mobile office to read/edit those documents in SD card?
    11-05-2013 07:16 AM
  6. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    I know I can put office documents (words, excel and pdf etc) into SD card. Please teach me how to use phone's mobile office to read/edit those documents in SD card?
    I did not say you could do anything with those files on a SD. I just said you could store files on it like a flash drive or USB storage.

    I said you can put your documents (Word, Excel and PDF) in the Documents folder on your phone memory so you can use them. Unless your phone memory is completely full I don't see a reason why you can't do this. If you decide to do this keep in mind they cannot be in separate folders they have to be native to that folder.
    11-05-2013 07:21 AM
  7. Dhananjay Choubey's Avatar
    Everything is also fine for me but this other folder problem made me crazy.. if i had the access to file explorer then i can delete unwanted data and every thing but i cant access it.
    11-05-2013 07:24 AM
  8. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Everything is also fine for me but this other folder problem made me crazy.. if i had the access to file explorer then i can delete unwanted data and every thing but i cant access it.
    The Other file issue is more complex than that. I don't think it's a simple 'delete' thing. If it was I'm sure it would have been implemented by now. So, no, the file explorer wouldn't have helped.
    a5cent likes this.
    11-05-2013 07:27 AM
  9. jlzimmerman's Avatar
    I have been seeing some threads here that suggest that Windows Phone needs a file explorer. And I really don't see why...

    As long as I am concered my Phone is an extension of my laptop, tablet or PC. I use it to take a quick look at documents, check my calendar, listen to music, read the news whenever I am not "in office" or at home and I check directions every now and then.

    However I see people having the need to have a file explorer that can cut, copy and move files from one place to another...I don't understand however why this is needed. I am perfecty happy with how Windows Phone 8 manages files. Sure they should improve the Skydrive app and maybe add a bit more options to the office hub. but in general the only things that need I "files" for are in the following two.

    Music and video (+podcasts)
    Video's and music are neatly sorted in the xboxmusic app. (sure it's not perfect, but I'm pretty sure that any other music player allows for a nice librarie full of your mp3's). Podcasts are pulled in via a 3the party app on my Phone (since Microsoft doesn't support podcasts in Belgium yet)

    Word, PDF and everything productive...
    Everything can be found in the office app. It's perfectly organized and It allows you to store files, pick them up from Skydrive and use them as you see fit. Even lost mail attachements are there. I have used it extensively when going on a trip and saved every guide, map and information on my Phone. It was perfectly accessible through the office hub.

    I can understand and respect the need for a file explorer by some of you. I am just wondering why it is needed so badly. More than often I see threads about what Windows Phone needs. Some people seem to name features of Android or iOS that are desperatly needed for Windows Phone while I am of the opionion that Windows Phone does these things extremely well and even better than their counterparts. I love the hub system in Windows Phone and it saddens me that some users want to change it to a more generic android-like system. It would be nice to see a few use cases on why there is need for a file explorer.
    For me It's about:
    • Having options, period. (and super easy for MS to implement)
    • Being able to rearrange files if we see fit
    • the familiarity of previous versions of Windows OS
    • Being able to administer files and folders, i.e. create additional sub directories, change folder permissions, security, etc...
    Ek-Balam likes this.
    11-05-2013 07:39 AM
  10. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    For me It's about:
    • Having options, period. (and super easy for MS to implement)
    • Being able to rearrange files if we see fit
    • the familiarity of previous versions of Windows OS
    • Being able to administer files and folders, i.e. create additional sub directories, change folder permissions, security, etc...
    Than maybe you should use Android because I don't think a file explorer as you want it will ever be available inherently in WP. This is a mobile phone, not a full blown computer. It's designed to do things at a basic level and a simple way. The average consumer doesn't need the things you need and WP is designed for them.

    I want better file management but not the level of a full flown file explorer like on W8.

    As for having options, well maybe if they open the APIs enough there may be someone out there who will write an app that will suit your needs.
    Last edited by N_LaRUE; 11-05-2013 at 08:56 AM.
    sahib lopez likes this.
    11-05-2013 07:51 AM
  11. Chris_Kez's Avatar
    For me It's about:
    • Being able to administer files and folders, i.e. create additional sub directories, change folder permissions, security, etc...
    Down this path lies disappointment, I'm afraid. I get the sense that MS is specifically moving away from the idea that you'll be the "Admin" for your phone.
    a5cent likes this.
    11-05-2013 08:13 AM
  12. ohgood's Avatar
    Why?

    To send a file to other devices.

    Like waypoints, full resolution 1.5gb relief maps of an area, tracks, videos, photos, etc

    And for those other devices to have the ability to receive those files.

    A file manager is the easiest way to do it.
    11-05-2013 08:29 AM
  13. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Why?

    To send a file to other devices.

    Like waypoints, full resolution 1.5gb relief maps of an area, tracks, videos, photos, etc

    And for those other devices to have the ability to receive those files.

    A file manager is the easiest way to do it.
    So how does that information get on to your phone in the first place and how do you send it to the other person?

    Why do you need your phone to move those files? What's wrong with Skydrive or just simply using a USB drive?

    How does your phone play into that situation is what I'm asking. That's a lot of data.
    sahib lopez likes this.
    11-05-2013 08:39 AM
  14. sahib lopez's Avatar
    These "peeps" clearly do not need a smartphone at all. Please return to your Ashas.
    so tell me why the majority of people have a smartphone ? Just because you and I mean only you need one that means that everyone needs one ?
    11-05-2013 08:46 AM
  15. sahib lopez's Avatar
    Perhaps you should get John's Phone - The World's Simplest Cell Phone | Covering mobile news from all over the world - easy to use, it won't confuse poor little you.
    in what way did I say its confusing to me, I've been around computers for a while now , I have used Linux,windows, and mac os, also I've used android,ios,and windows phone, so before saying its confusing stick to the topic at hand instead of taking jabs at me ....ok ?
    11-05-2013 08:52 AM
  16. sahib lopez's Avatar
    I agree. I actually use my skydive account as a file manager. I don't need anything else. :)

    Sent from my LG-D801 using WPCentral Forums mobile app
    Yup same goes for me but we have to remember that not everyone has internet access :/
    11-05-2013 09:40 AM
  17. sahib lopez's Avatar
    Excellent post.

    This is one of those mobile features I wonder who is really for it. You are going to move files and organize major documents.... on your PHONE?? I am not belittling it, I just find it amazing that there is a need for that. It is like some of the people who want to see MS put Power Point functionality on the mobile version of Office. How on Earth do you do that on even a larger screen phone? It sounds like to me one of those "better in theory then in real life" ideas. Tablets and Ultra Books make sense- so long as the real estate is large enough to make it practicle.

    Then you throw in the casual user like what berty talks about, and you have that more harm then good example that would apply to what, maybe 70% of tech users? My wife was haaving a melt down trying to move a saved picture from a CD to her documents just recently. Just a pure, hide the kids, dogs cower under the couch, and husbands wish they were anywhere else on the planet type MELTDOWN, and all she had to do was "right click", select send to, and tell it where to go.

    Can you imagine how much harder the process of undoing those mistakes are on a mobile device?

    *shudders*

    Much like the OP, I am not against it, I just wonder if there is enough need for it to offset the potential downside of using the seamless operation of our OS.
    Yup I see that happen from time to time with people using computers .....and to do that on a phone ...is sort of a waste of effort when MSFT can be working on something else
    11-05-2013 10:01 AM
  18. sahib lopez's Avatar
    Dear Aardappleboom,
    If u stop seeing your situation as the ideal situation and the only situation,you would have realized why so many people are asking for a file explorer.Let's not try to strangle wishes by justifying even the shortcomings because that hinders urge for development.You need pointers.So,here they come:
    1.When phones became smartphones,they started their journey towards being pocketable computers.Otherwise,why cramp 64 gb memory into it?So,if you fill your 32 gb internal and 32 gb external with thousands of songs and several thousands of photos,wouldn't you need to organize them in your own way?or you prefer a scrollnswipemania?
    2.Necessity invents invention.File explorers have been a salient feature of smartphones since the Symbian days because it is essential.May be wp8 is oversmart but imagine a book with no index.You can see everything by turning and turning and turning its pages.Only thing is that you will need half an hour to find out a specific content you need.
    3.Copy,cut,paste and customized folders are essential features of a file explorer.Now,take a situation.On Christmas Day or on a family picnic day,you shot 150 photos.wp8 would put them all under the same date.But won't you like to put them into folders like PARENT'S,WIFE,FRIENDS etc?

    Sent from my Lumia using Tapatalk
    Yes we do know that some people and I mean SOME you have to remember that wp8 does not revolve around certain type that will use a file manager,i for one wont use it because I have no use for it and the majority of people who pick up a windows phone think " dang I need to file this folder and I need to clean out this and I need to delete pictures " no they will buy it because it works and it looks new
    11-05-2013 10:07 AM
  19. sahib lopez's Avatar
    I think you underestimate the average consumer. I understand that anecdotes are not data, but let me share one here anyway - this may be specific to the India market

    I visited home (India, Hyderabad to be specific) recently and my sister happened to break her GS3 Mini. I didn't want to buy her an expensive replacement because I plan to get us both Nexus 5s in January, so we went shopping for a cheap phone. Obviously, the Lumia 520 is better for her since all she does is call, text and Whatsapp, and she can keep it for a spare phone once she gets her Nexus. Like many people have said here, the salesman actively dissuaded us from buying a Lumia. Why? The return and complaint rates are extremely high. One major reason for this, he said, is the lack of a file manager.

    Thing is, in a market like India your smartphone is more often than not your only computing device. People don't always have desktops or laptops, even or should I say especially students. They need this ability since the phone is their USB flash drive, media player, storage, everything.
    BUT you just said what people use their phone as and you said that your sister mainly uses it for calling, texting, and whatsapp. And none of those require a file manager.That what most of the people use their smartphone .... to use APPS not manage their files and folders
    cckgz4 likes this.
    11-05-2013 10:11 AM
  20. sahib lopez's Avatar
    I see this thread will start heading in the direction of the other thread that discusses this topic to death. The other thread was a disaster and the reasons for having a file explorer never seem to be well made.

    Anyway, let's get to the bare bones of this discussion.

    On one side we have a group of people who firmly believe that a smartphone is mostly used for consumption these days and that a file explorer is confusing and not necessary.
    On the other side we have a group who firmly believe that smartphones are small computers and require some form of file management as it's a requirement for them.
    In the middle, you have people like me who believe that WP needs to do things better but not using a typical file manager approach.

    Now for those who don't know the iPhone uses a similar system to WP in regards to documents, they use a sort of hub system. This should give you an indication of who MS was targeting with WP. They also don't do the attach file to email for documents. However, their APIs are open enough that good file explorer apps have been made and can be used by those who want one. If this is a good strategy I don't know as I'm not a programmer.

    The other issue is surrounding the implementation of the SD card. Personally I think this was a huge mistake made by Nokia and MS. They should have avoided this and made a standard 16GB for low end phones. 99% of the complaints with file managers are based on not being able to access the SD cards internally on the phone. The SD is very limited on what files can be used on it. This I personally believe is a poor implementation and causes no end of issues. However, I will say this, I think documents on a SD card should be allowed, but not apps. I don't agree with this side loading nonsense. That's old school. We're not Android here.

    So I'm a bit confused by those who want a file manager so badly. If the phone is your 'only' computing device what files are you worried about? How do you go about transferring files about? We keep hearing Skydrive isn't an option but then I hear words like 'email'. I don't get it. It's the same thing isn't it?

    You can store any file you want on the SD card (using it like a USB storage) and on the phone. You can put documents (PDFs, Office) in the document folder on your phone and use them. You can store files on Skydrive and share them.

    So where is the system falling down for you? Is it only with the SD storage? Is you phone storage completely used up? Do you not know about the folders in the phone storage or how to use them correctly? If you don't have access to WiFi or data how are you transferring files? Bluetooth?

    These are things I'd like clarified. Please explain to everyone how you use your phone, in simple language, without anger, so that we can understand your needs. It's a bit confusing if we don't see what you're doing or how you do it or why.
    You hit the nail on that one !!!!! I agree with you 100%
    N_LaRUE likes this.
    11-05-2013 10:13 AM
  21. ohgood's Avatar
    So how does that information get on to your phone in the first place and how do you send it to the other person?
    maps/tracks/waypoints/routes are created by the user, then shared by other users, via bluetooth, sdcard swaps, wifi, nfc (when applicable) etc

    Why do you need your phone to move those files? What's wrong with Skydrive or just simply using a USB drive?
    the phone is the origination of those files (with the exception of some maps). some databases can be split or portions split as needed for whatever the need is, on the phone. no laptop, tablet, or other heavy/bulky device is needed. skydrive (cloud services in general) require FAST cellular connectivity, for both devices, for a local exchange. the exchange is usually fairly remote or with poor cellular service. usb drive is like pouring water in 5 cups to share it between two people, in this case.

    How does your phone play into that situation is what I'm asking. That's a lot of data.
    well, the file / files get transferred to / from another device. wether it's a laptop, tablet, stand alone gps (rarer each day), phone, etc.




    the file manager is actually not the bottleneck. the bottleneck is the apps and their respective restrictions of file usage / sharing in the OS. a traditional sense of filemanager is "here is my file, right click, put it somewhere else, open it with something else, etc"

    better ?
    11-05-2013 10:36 AM
  22. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    better ?
    No reason to be snarky. Just trying to get my head around what you're doing. What app is that you're using to do those things?
    11-05-2013 10:51 AM
  23. berty6294's Avatar
    If you need to transfer a lot data from device to device how is the phone the best choice??? They have these crazy inexpensive things called Flash Drives! They are like super cheap, portable, fast, and much easier to use! You can put one in your hat! You can keep it on your belt! On your keychain, shoelace, drawstring, pocket, backpack, wallet, purse, socks, underwear for god sake! You could swallow it if you wanted to! They are so small you could tape it to your leg and forget about it for weeks! (unless you bathe which I always suggest).

    These things are more portable than a phone, less money than a phone, way WAY faster than a phone, and universally work with any computer you can find. Why is the phone a better choice?
    11-05-2013 10:53 AM
  24. ag1986's Avatar
    Yes we do know that some people and I mean SOME you have to remember that wp8 does not revolve around certain type that will use a file manager,i for one wont use it because I have no use for it and the majority of people who pick up a windows phone think " dang I need to file this folder and I need to clean out this and I need to delete pictures " no they will buy it because it works and it looks new
    Nobody's buying WP at all, your point is invalid.
    11-05-2013 10:55 AM
  25. ag1986's Avatar
    BUT you just said what people use their phone as and you said that your sister mainly uses it for calling, texting, and whatsapp. And none of those require a file manager.That what most of the people use their smartphone .... to use APPS not manage their files and folders
    I thought my point was comprehensible, but I clearly need to simplify:

    1. I mentioned those usage habits to illustrate why we wanted a cheap phone. FYI that is not ALL she does by a long shot, just all she needed until I got us Nexus 5s. Other things she does are, read her pathology (a branch of medicine) textbooks, organise her day, read ebooks, e-comics and lots of other things.

    2. In our pursuit of a Lumia 520, the sales man attempted to dissuade us (dissuade means to advise against, saying "don't do this)

    3. Because it had a very high return rate. One of the reasons was a file manager.

    I hope I've managed to clarify adequately.
    11-05-2013 10:59 AM
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