Editorial: Why Windows Phone Doesn’t Need a File Manager

| May 2, 2013 | 388 Replies

file drawer upperLast week Deaconclgi posted about Symbian’s amazing file manager system, and how it was “uniquely Symbian”, and it’s admittedly one of the most useful features on the OS from my own personal use. Of course this sparked the age old conversation “Where’s the file manager in Windows Phone! Burn Elop!”; well here’s my take on why Windows Phone truly doesn’t need a “file manager” (at least in the Symbian sense of it).

Let’s be honest for a second, and think back to all the times we’ve used the file manager on Symbian, sure I used it on a daily basis (I had it as a shortcut on my home screen, as any avid smart phone user would). But what would I use it for? Thinking back I really can’t think of a time when I wasn’t using the file manager for something besides fixing a problem on my phone, or side-loading an app (yes those were dark days). My main usage of the file manager was either downloading an app on my PC and transferring it to my phone (since the Nokia store completely sucked) or trying to copy a self signed .sis file to my phone. Oh and let’s not forget frantically rummaging through the “C/” folder looking for anything that wasn’t supposed to be there in order to get rid of that pesky “low memory” error.

If I think about it, why did I have to go to those lengths? Well most of the time it was because the browser on my N8 was so horrible it was easier to find what I wanted on my PC and transfer it over, the rest of the times I was either installing an app I couldn’t find in the store (or didn’t want to/couldn’t buy) or I was installing a 3rd party bug fix/hack.

*I know Nokia Drop exists, but it wasn’t always reliable

Sure there were some good times with the file manager like selecting 80 songs and Bluetoothing them over to a friend, or keeping a back-up of all my apps; but what’s the one thing that all these have in common? The fact that you either can’t or don’t need to do that on Windows Phone.

*Note: I’m not saying WP is the perfect OS, but what I say next relates to how Windows Phone is in this current state.

Windows Phone is a closed OS; meaning that short of having a developers account there really is no way to side-load pirated apps and games (be honest! We’ve all done it!) so there’s one huge use for a file manager gone. In terms of stability the OS is rock solid, and the benefit of being a closed OS is the fact that there are none of those “icky viruses” you can get by playing around with your phone, further more this means that I don’t have to delve into the file drawer and search for the offending file that was eating up all my precious ram, or causing my photo gallery to crash (I can’t remember the exact specifics but there was an app I had installed which kept force closing my gallery and pixelating images, it might have been Fring or Skype iirc).

With Windows Phone I can transfer apps to my phone wirelessly with the click of a button, without the phone even being in the same room as me; which fixes another issue/reason to need a file manager. In terms of actually finding a file/image/document etc. WP does a terrific job of automatically adding each file to its respective client, PDFs are automatically detected by the reader as are Images, Music & videos (regardless of their source of origin, be that via the browser, email attachment, MMS or other).

All in all the only *true* reason I can see people wanting a file manager on Windows Phone is simply for media transfer to a friend’s device; but that’s not supported in Windows Phone (besides some limited sharing of photos via bluetooth I think) so honestly I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

Feel free to RESPECTFULLY share your opinion down below, if I got something wrong please do point it out, and be nice to your fellow readers folks 🙂


Category: Lumia, Nokia, Symbian, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.