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[APP][2.1+] FX File Explorer Dev Thread (5.0: Material Design UI, Wi-Fi Direct Xfers)

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By tliebeck, Senior Member on 8th September 2011, 04:27 AM
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FX 6.0 is now available!
Note: This initial post is now very out of date and will be corrected very soon. Screenshots are from old prior versions (2017/08/10)

Hello all,

This is the ongoing development thread for FX File Explorer. I greatly appreciate feature suggestions, bug reports, and general feedback!

FX intends to be an uncluttered, everyday-usable file manager for Android. The primary development goal has been to create the same level of usability, intuitiveness, and efficiency as that offered by the file manager on your desktop computer.

Local file management features of FX are free, including the root features, indexed search, cleaning tools, usage view, non-encrypted archive creation/extraction, the text editor, and all other viewers (e.g. script exec, binary viewer, image viewer). The network/cloud stuff and media-specific stuff (e.g. browsing music by album, editing playlists) is a paid add-on called "FX Plus".

The free version of FX is not a "Lite" version or some kind of watered-down demo. There is no advertising in FX. And there is no user-tracking, phoning home, or any other "doubleplusungood" stuff of any kind in FX.

FX Connect Demonstration

A demonstration of FX connect. Phones are paired together using NFC by opening FX and touching their backs together. Transfers take place over a high-speed Wi-Fi Direct connection.

Home Screen

The "Home Screen" appears when you first open FX. The idea of the home screen is that you create bookmarks to the folders you actually use, rather than milling through the garbage every app places in the root folder of your SD card.

One last note regarding the free-vs-plus stuff: The features shown in the "Media" and "Internet and Network" sections are part of the "FX Plus" add-on, while everything else is free. And another note: the home-screens below have every option turned on: you can use the "View" menu to customize what is shown.
  • The first image shows a default home screen.
  • The second image shows the home screen configured with a translucent dark theme and view mode set to "Icon". The translucent dark theme uses your default system wallpaper (or optionally an alternate wallpaper of your choosing).


Directory Browsing

These screenshots show FX viewing a directory. The one on the left shows the Material Design Teal theme, the one on the right uses a translucent theme.


Windows and Split View

FX supports multiple (unlimited) windows, with the ability to view one or two at a time.
  • The first screenshot shows the window menu, which is accessible by tapping the slide-out icon in the upper left corner or sliding your finger from the left edge of the screen to the right.
  • The second screenshot shows the split view mode. You can enter this mode from the window menu by tapping "Split View", or by dragging the path bar from the top of the screen downward.


Root / Developer Features

FX supports root access. Root access requires an add-on, but the add-on is free.

Root access is kept entirely separate from normal file browsing, and can optionally be protected.

Developer features include:
  • Root access may be secured via PIN, Password, or Warning; secured access can be enabled for viewing or only for modifications
  • Remount filesystems as read/write or read-only
  • Disable System Apps
  • Root Usage View
  • Recursive Search
  • Modify permissions
  • Change Ownership/Group, with Android-based design (e.g. select an app-specific user by app name; see screenshot)
  • Symlink Creation (relative and absolute)
  • Shell Script Execution, with support for creating launcher shortcuts to execute scripts [NR]
  • Explore APK Contents [NR]
  • View Android Binary XML Files in Text Viewer [NR]
  • View any file in Binary Viewer [NR]
  • MD5/SHA1 Checksum and Composite Checksum Calculation/Comparison (checksum directory structures, optionally with UNIX permissions, [NR])
Items marked with [NR] do not require root, but may offer more functionality when root is available.




Text Editor

FX includes a full-featured text editor. It can edit local text files, edit files as root, and edit files on remote hosts (with FX Plus add-on). Features include:
  • Undo/Redo with History (able to undo/redo multiple times)
  • Cut/Copy/Paste
  • Pinch-to-zoom font scaling
  • Proportional and fixed fonts, word wrap can be enabled/disabled
  • Optional shortcut bar can be enabled to provide arrow keys and fast access to undo/redo
  • Jump to line number, beginning/ending of file
  • Find text within documents
  • File browsing for Open/Save As
  • Enable/disable autocorrect
  • Multiple color schemes
  • Save/load files in different character sets

Plus Add-On

All features demonstrated above are entirely free. The Plus Add-On is the paid component of FX, and adds additional features:
  • Application management: browse user, system, or all installed apps
  • Browse installed apps by permission (e.g. find all apps which require GPS location or Internet access)
  • (Root Access Required) View /data usage by application, disable any application
  • AES-128/256 Zip Encryption/decryption; browse inside encrypted zip files/folders, view text files, images, audio and video files without ever writing decrypted version to media
  • Browse all Images, browse images by folder (e.g. Camera folders on different media/SD cards)
  • Browse camera Videos or all videos on device
  • Browse Music by Artist, Album, Playlist, or view all music
  • Browse ringtones, podcasts, notifications, and alarm sounds
  • Create playlists, add albums/tracks/artists/playlists to playlists, reorder playlists via drag-and-drop
  • Bluetooth FTP and Bluetooth Pairing within FX (pushing files via Bluetooth does NOT require FX Plus if your device supports it)

FX Plus adds support for the following network/cloud services:
  • SMB (Windows Networking), supports network browsing (SMB1 and SMB2)
  • FTP, including FTP-S and FTP-ES; browsing local network supported via mDNS
  • SSH, including public key, password, and interactive authentication; browsing local network supported via mDNS
  • WebDAV, including WebDAV over HTTPS; browsing local network supported via mDNS
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Box
  • SugarSync
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • OwnCloud (by creating a WebDAV connection)



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8th September 2011, 04:27 AM |#2  
tliebeck's Avatar
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How to get FX

Current Play Store Version

To get the current version (5.x) from the Play Store, simply click here:
Download via Play Store

Beta Testing

FX can be beta tested by either downloading APKs directly (links will be posted in this thread) or via the FX beta channel on Google Play. At any given time, there may or may not be a release in the beta channel. (There won't be a release when a beta has just been pushed into production).

To join the Google Play public beta test and receive automatic updates:

Step 1: Join this Google+ community:

Step 2: Visit this page to opt-in for beta testing:
Beta APKs are also posted in this thread.

Step 3: Get FX from the Google Play Store: Download via Play Store

If you'd prefer to download an APK directly:

Go to the last page of this thread and grab a beta APK by clicking a download link:

APKs of FX are archived here:

Notable versions:
Root add-on:
The root add-on is available for direct download here:
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8th September 2011, 04:54 AM |#3  
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Since this is currently in beta, I am moving this out of the Paid Apps forum.
8th September 2011, 09:15 AM |#4  
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Great, great app. The curious thing with Android is that when you think "is there an app for that?", usually you stumble upon it the same day! Your app is great, fast and no-frills - I am amazed at the speed, even though both my internal and SD storage is full.

However, have you seen MIUI file manager? It also classifies apks, PDFs, and whatnot along with media. The only thing THAT is missing is SD card support for this classification, and the ability to show both storages as a whole.

I think this is where you can improve your app and make it (safely) the best file manager on Android - i.e. adding more file associations such as apks and pdfs etc. Keep improving it and someday we won't have to worry about where each file is lying.

Also the UI could use a little more polish.

Thanks for the app
8th September 2011, 10:21 AM |#5  
creage's Avatar
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Just installed, and actually very surprised! The app is fast! I mean, no lag at all, even with continuous reloading of picture previews ).

First thing I miss - editing files. Root Explorer provides simple text editor, which is quite handy. Next - changing permissions - I need it ). And executing .sh/.rc etc scripts.

And what about multiple selection, and actions on these, like move/copy/delete?

I liked your text viewer has font settings - it's amazing! Why not implement same feature for file lists? Coz I find titles bit bold, I want them lighter/smaller. Same sizing ability would be good for icons too. I don't like big icons.

Bookmarks. I need bookmarks for folders, so I can access them fast.

Otherwise it's good. I'll uninstall both RE and Estrongs once your app has features I listed ) Good job!
8th September 2011, 12:00 PM |#6  
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Very nice, fast, different look and feel app. Seems very promising.
8th September 2011, 12:12 PM |#7  
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I really like this.

Is there a way to select multiple files?
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8th September 2011, 12:46 PM |#8  
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GReat App
GReat App. Thanks
8th September 2011, 12:46 PM |#9  
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see the video
8th September 2011, 01:21 PM |#10  
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Thanks! I'll definitely be trying this out.
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8th September 2011, 09:52 PM |#11  
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Originally Posted by djsubtronic

I really like this.

Is there a way to select multiple files?

Thanks! Yes, multiple file selection is accomplished by a swipe gesture:

(the above is supposed to be an animated GIF image, if it's not showing, see the Youtube video at the top).

More info on selection can be found here:
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