Files by Google prepares to tweak the Browse UI and add Cast support

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The last time we talked by Files by Google, it was back in early August when the app got a dark theme and updated media player controls. There are over 100 million users of the file manager app, which is impressive given its humble origins as a file manager designed to help budget phone users make the most of their storage space. With each new version, the app becomes more robust. Now, in version 1.0.264667554, which is rolling out via the Google Play Store, we spotted hints that the app is preparing to slightly tweak the Browse UI and add Google Chromecast support.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

We enabled a slight redesign of the Browse tab which places the categories (Downloads, Images, Videos, Audio, Apps, and Documents & Others) in a 2×3 layout rather than a single column. This is better for devices with higher densities since they’ll have less viewing space on the screen.

Top row: New Browse tab design. Bottom row: Current Browse tab design.

You can also see a Cast button in the top bar. Tapping this icon allows you to connect to a local Google Cast device such as a Chromecast or Google Nest Hub Max so you can use Files by Google to cast locally stored audio, video, or images. This Cast button is also accessible from the media player screen.

These features are not yet accessible in the current version of the Files by Google app without tweaking. I checked the current version on my ASUS ROG Phone II and did not see these two changes. Once these features roll out, we’ll let you know.

Files by Google: Clean up space on your phone
Files by Google: Clean up space on your phone

Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.

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