Manage Files and Documents on Your Android Phone

For photos, spreadsheets, text files, presentations, and more, Android apps can help you get serious work done.

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by Robert Strohmeyer, PC World - All play and no work makes your smartphone an expensive toy. But with the help of a wide selection of professional-grade mobile apps from the Android Market, your Android phone can get down to business. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to manage files on your phone, and I'll highlight some of the best tools and apps for viewing, creating, and editing business documents on the go.

[ See also: Tools to keep your Android phone speedy and powered up ]

Android File Management

You have several ways to move files onto, off of, and around your Android phone. The easiest method is to connect your phone to your PC through a USB cable, mount the handset as a drive by tapping the notification area, select USB Connected, and tap Mount.

Once your computer has mounted the phone as a drive, you can use your mouse to click through the SD Card contents, explore and create folders, drag files around on the drive, or copy items between the SD Card and your PC's hard drive. If you're just getting started sharing documents between your PC and your phone, this is a great way to get your most important files onto your handset so that you can carry them everywhere you go.

Of course, if you always had your PC handy, you probably wouldn't need to carry files on your phone in the first place. So you'll want a reliable tool to help you explore the files and folders on your phone when your computer is nowhere in sight.

My favorite tool for accessing and moving files around on my Motorola Droid is the Astro File Manager. This simple yet robust utility gives you a Windows-style view of all the folders, files, and documents on your phone. Whether it's a word-processor document, a photo, or a music file, you can get quick in-menu previews of a file's contents, or tap the item to launch the file in your preferred application.

When you tap on a file in Astro File Manager, Android will prompt you to choose which application to open it with; you'll also have the option to set your choice as the default option for future instances.

In Astro's menu bar, you'll find options that let you move, copy, rename, or delete files. Tap the Multi option, and you can select multiple files or folders to work with.

In addition to working with files and folders, Astro File Manager can back up your installed applications and browser bookmarks, and it can kill unwanted processes that could otherwise drain your phone's battery.

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