Google appears to be working on a new app called Files Go that’ll work as a way to manage, clean up, and share files. It’s that last one that seems the most interesting here: Files Go seems to have a feature that works a lot like Apple’s AirDrop, letting you easily send files to nearby Android phones over Bluetooth.
The file-transfer feature doesn’t appear to work quite as smoothly as AirDrop. Both people need to have the Files Go app open, whereas AirDrop lets you send files from any app to any nearby contact, even if they don’t have the same app.
Still, it’d be a nice addition to Android if Google began shipping this as a stock app. Right now, the best way to send a file to a nearby phone is by using Android Beam, which requires tapping the two phones together to make an NFC connection. It works, but it’s an odd interaction that a lot of people don’t seem to know about. Putting a file-sharing feature inside an app clearly about managing files seems a lot more discoverable.
Files Go seems to be designed for Android Go
Unfortunately, Files Go isn’t available yet. The app was spotted in the Play Store yesterday in a closed beta program, and it’s since been removed. It also isn’t clear how widely it’ll get released once it’s ready. Given the “Go” name, it seems likely to be part of Google’s Android Go initiative, which is making a stripped-down version of Android that runs on phones with slower hardware. The goal is to make Android work better on these phones, so that the OS will be adopted by people in countries where smartphones are just starting to permeate.
Files Go is less than 10MB large, and the app’s other features are about clearing up space, so it seems to play into the Go initiative pretty clearly. The app has a dashboard that shows how much storage your phone has left, includes a button to clear cached files, and it highlights large files you can delete to free up space. It’ll also suggest removing apps that it looks like you aren’t using anymore. The app includes a files manager as well to let you look through local photos, videos, music, and other documents.
These features aren’t new to Android. There are already ways to browse your local files, free up space, and share documents. But there isn’t one easy-to-use management app like this just yet. So even though Google seems to be working on this for one specific segment of Android, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to offer it to everyone.