Review: PC File Manager
Version Reviewed: 10..
The phone companies are in a bit of a battle. With the Symbian OS, they have one of the most powerful operating systems on the market. The problem is they are selling it to Muppets who struggle to cope with the concept of a 'double click' on their PC - and they need to be able to work their mobile phone without knowing much about what's happening under the surface.
This is where the GUI comes in. The Graphical User Interface is the program that sits between the Operating System (a load of 1's and 0's) and the user (lots of pretty things to see and click). And while Symbian phones have got the GUI sorted, it can leave the more... technically minded people (okay, geeks) feeling a bit underwhelmed and unimpressed.
Enter, Stage left, The Uber-Geeks
Until of course, the software houses step in. Becaue they themselves were once those self-same geeks. Except now, they've turned into later day crack dealers, dripping out new and exciting applications that delve straight into the hearts and minds of the fan boy (enough, enough, get on with it - Rafe)...
File Explorer is a case in point. The majority of Symbian owners won't give this a second glance. But those that want to see inside the guts of their phone (especially Series 60 users who don't have a desktop file browser packaged in the connectivity suite, let alone an on-device file manager), then this app is going to feed their excitement throughout the long, hard night (eh? He's off again - Rafe)
What it does
Ehrm, it's called File Manager, it should be pretty obvious...
Running File Manager presents you a split window. On the left hand side is a tree representation of the directories on the connected device (yes, the 7650 does have directories - it's amazing what gooey things a GUI can hide). The right hand side shows the files in the selected directory.
The whole look is obviously based on Windows Explorer and you can be up and running within seconds of installing.
Good and Bad Points
With the same feel as Windows Explorer, you've nothing new to learn. Moving things from desktop to phone, into directories on the PC, deleting directories and cleaning up dead .ini files; all of that is here.
More surprisingly is what is missing from the application. I would have expected a 'Backup Device' option (perhaps into a zip file for easy storage). It is arguable that because this feature is provided elsewhere (in the standard PC Suites) then it's not needed here. There also doesn't seem to be a way to move single files from the phone back onto the PC.
It's very easy for a novice user to move into the System directory and delete files which could hold important information or settings. I'd have liked to have seen a warning (on by default, but available to toggle off in preferences) when you are deleting or overwriting stuff in the System folder.
Finally, it would have been much easier if, rather than in a dedicated window, File Manager appeared as a device inside a normal Windows Explorer view (a la the Nokia 9210 - My Symbian Phone?).
The Big Advantage
The great thing about File Manager is that it complements the Series 60 connectivity kit perfectly. Previously, when sending files and images they had to be right clicked on the PC, and then sent via Ir or Bluetooth. The problem then was that it appeared as an incoming message, ending up hidden deep in the file system. Now I can drop files exactly where they are needed. For the developer, this is a tremendous advantage in terms of time and frustration levels.
Yet again Epocware has released something that does exactly what it says on the tin. It has limited appeal, but for those who need a remote File Manager then look no further.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at