Over the past couple of weeks we have given you insights into some of our proposed design changes across both Messaging and the Dialer Instant Contact Card. It has been great hearing your feedback, learning what you like and dislike. You’ll be happy to know that many of these suggestions are being reflected in the final product. Today, we’re excited to share with you our proposed File Manager experience.
File Manager has been a core part of the CyanogenMod portfolio, but has typically been an app that only advanced users use. We conducted a survey in March that indicated that by far the largest user complaint is the app’s unintuitive UI, especially when it comes to moving files around the system. In addition to this, the usage of cloud storage has increased over the years, and we wanted to enhance the platform and file manager experience with a tight integration to these services.
With this feedback in mind, we began the File Manager refresh with these goals:
Rethink the core user experience to be simpler, faster, and more intuitive
Overhaul the app’s styling to be consistent with Material principles
Build support for an extended storage access framework api so that File Manager and other apps can take advantage of the cloud services
Based on these points, we’re completing this project in two phases.
File Manager’s first phase will focus on building the extended apis for the cloud services to hook into and implementing high-level UX and UI changes for many of the core user flows. Large improvements to navigation, presentation of the file system, actions and properties, and a simplified search experience all aim to make File Manager an easy, friendly destination for every user. The storage section of settings will also undergo UI restructuring to better present storage sources.
The second phase will start with restructuring the current UI in Settings to better present the cloud storage sources. It will also cover new UX paradigms like the ability to move and copy files via direct manipulation and a clearer filepath navigation system. In addition, more capabilities in search, a secure storage UI update, helpful progress notifications, and more.
We recognize that it is important to be as transparent as possible when redesigning core applications. Our reason for sharing this ahead of time, is to solicit feedback and give you a chance to voice your opinions (both good and bad). Our hope is to do this early and often as we move forward together and shape the device that we all want to use.
The launch of this new experience will be part of the nightlies once we refine it based on your feedback.
Please feel free to join the mailing list to provide your feedback, or leave a comment below.