For all their generic similarities, Linux-based Android isn't like Windows. But it's not like Linux, either, or other Linux-derived operating systems like ubuntu -- at least not out of the box. But that doesn't mean it can't be, and developers are turning out free, open source apps that add Windows-like features to the Android OS. OI File Manager from OpenIntents adds Explorer-like file navigation and management capabilities to your Android device. With it, you can open, rename, copy, save, edit, move, and delete files and folders. It adds Open and Save commands to other apps. A Back button lets you browse back to directories without starting at the beginning again. It creates directories, sends files by e-mail, displays different directory structures, and much, much more. We installed it in a Samsung Galaxy S3 running Android 4.1.1, and it's an app we'll be keeping.
We pressed OI File Manager's plain folder icon to open the app. A simple interface displayed all our device's folders alphabetically beneath a pair of toolbars; one holding Bookmarks, Search, and Settings icons; the other with a Home icon and a field for selecting open folders for displaying subfolders, files, and other content. Settings include sorting, exclusion list, themes, warnings, clear history, and other advanced features. Tapping our phone's Settings button opened a small menu accessing an optional download: OI File manager has seen so many upgrades, fixes, and new features that it requires a separate download for its About file. We could also create new folders from the Settings button. Tapping the SD card icon opened our phone's removable storage directory. OI File Manager handles SD card files and folders as easily as it does in your phone's main directory. After we'd used OI File Manager for a while, we uninstalled it and returned to the native file system. We soon reinstalled OI File Manager.
OI File Manager is the very app to answer many frustrations in Android. Other file manager apps do some of what it does, but we've yet to find one that betters it, let alone a free, open-source app that will probably just get better over time. It's definitely a keeper.