Files App is here

February 27, 2013

Today we released Files App.

For our company it is a very special App launch, because from a pure technological standpoint it’s the most complicated App that we’ve ever built (and we’ve built quite a few Apps). Although Files App looks very simple at first glance, there’s a lot of things going on under the hood.

For the first time we even did a nice promo video. We plan to do this for  all big Apps going forward. Here’s the video:

The general goal of Files App was to build a file manager/viewer that is truly optimized for touch screens and has no unnecessary bells and whistles. Just your files and nothing else. Opening and organizing your files should be as simple as opening and organizing your Apps on your Homescreen. Sounds simple in theory, but it took us countless iterations to really achieve this kind of simplicity.

Below you see a screenshot that (hopefully) demonstrates this:

iPad-mini-Files-App

One of my personal highlights of Files App is that the basic UI only consists of 2 important buttons: The Plus button, which brings you to the place to add files (from any source) and the Edit button, which lets you manage and organize your files. Everything else is just tapping, pinching and swiping. Tap a file to open it, drag a file over another to create a folder, tap a name to rename a file or folder… you get the idea.

Below you see how the Plus Menu looks like. Again, there’s not really much to see and that’s a good thing :)

iPhone5-Add-Files

Another area that was important to us, is how you actually import files into Files App. We didn’t want to offer hundred different ways like a lot of Apps do, but focus on a few ways and execute them really well. Besides the usual Dropbox, Google Drive or Email import we have one import method that is, in our opinion, the simplest and coolest way to put files on your device: Drag & Drop files from your Mac or PC directly into Files App using any modern Web Browser on any platform. It’s not the usual simple web form, but an entire replication of the App, right in your browser. How cool is that. On Chrome you can even drag files out of the browser. This was one of the most popular features among our beta users.

MacBookAir-Webserver

The best thing about Files App is that it really lets your content shine. Be it photos, videos, PDFs or Music. Everything just looks absolutely gorgeous. Just have a look at the following screens and see for yourself:

iPad-mini-PhotoiPad-mini-Musicipad-pdf

Finally let me say some special thanks to: