I’ll be honest here. We don’t know what’s accurately duty with a Android N Dev Preview 2′s Downloads and Files situation. There are lots of nitty dirty changes duty and we apparently can’t tell if these are lost missteps in this recover or if this is a approach things will be from now on. I’ve been going behind and onward between any screenshot of Android N Dev Preview 1 and a homogeneous on Dev Preview 2 perplexing to know a motive behind some of these changes, yet we haven’t finished clarity of it all.

Here is what we know yet and we pledge that it’s confusing, so I’ll try to make it as transparent as probable and wish we can follow along.

Downloads and Files are a same app

In Android N Dev Preview 1 (which I’ll impute to as N1 from now on, to abbreviate), a Downloads app has a package name com.android.providers.downloads.ui, given a Files app (ie a record path-finder that shows adult when we go to Settings Storage Explore) has a package name com.android.documentsui.

In Android N Dev Preview 2 (referred to as N2 from now on), both apps have a same com.android.documentsui package name.

This means that they’re radically a same app and this will turn apparent as we go by all of a changes that this combine has caused.

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Downloads app on N1 (left) vs N2 (right). Notice a classification choice and hamburger icon.

Downloads gets a side menu and mixed windows

As a happy side outcome of this merge, a Downloads app on N2 is no longer a semi-capable record browser. It has many of a same facilities of a Files app that were introduced in N1 like mixed windows to run several instances concurrently and a side menu that lets we crop opposite other directories.

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Downloads N1 (left) vs N2′s mixed windows (middle) and side menu (right)

Files can now implement APKs

If we ask me, a best underline to come out of this combine is that we can finally implement APKs while browsing your device’s storage. You competence have suspicion that this was always possible, solely that no, it wasn’t.

In N1, when we wrote about a Files’ app overhaul, a integrate of readers helped us realize that it still didn’t know how to hoop APKs, throwing a “Can’t open file” whenever we tapped on designation files. In N2, given a Files app has to also act as a Downloads app, and a latter has always been means to implement APKs, it seems to have carried that underline over to Files. The outcome is that if we crop your device’s storage and daub on an APK, it will launch a installer right away, usually like it does in Downloads.

Other changes and bugs in Files

There are a few other differences between Files on N2 and N1, some competence be new features, others are presumably bugs.

First, a classification idol is no longer dark underneath a crawl menu like it was in N1. It shows in a pretension bar subsequent to hunt and view.

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Files on N1 (left) vs N2 (right). Notice a classification icon.

Second, a side menu sees a integrate of changes: a) it’s infrequently patrician Downloads now instead of Files, b) a device’s name shows adult instead of a some-more general Internal storage, and c) Documents has left from a probable options.

android-n-prev1-documents-sidemenu android-n-prev2-documents-sidemenu

Files sidemenu on N1 (left) vs euh… Downloads?! on N2 (right).

Downloads can’t rename or copy/move everywhere

We’ve been mostly looking during a positives of this merge. Now it’s time we checked all a uncanny issues that it has created, starting with a fact that a Downloads app on N2 can’t seem to be means to rename files anymore. The choice shows adult yet is greyed out.

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Downloads app can rename files on N1 (left) yet not on N2 (right)

The other change on N2, and this is a most some-more irritating one, is that beside your Google Drive, we can usually copy/move files to your Recent folders, that are… singular to usually a Downloads folder, ie a same office you’re starting from, ie useless.

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Downloads can copy/move to all Documents on N1 (left) yet usually to Recents on N2 (right)

Files can usually copy/move to Recents

Same emanate as a Downloads app, yet here it’s a doozy. When we daub to duplicate or pierce a record in a Files app on N2, we get usually a Recents and infrequently a Downloads options in a side menu, yet not Documents. (Thanks Fedor von Bock!) And Recents unequivocally does not list a new folders you’ve browsed through, so there’s no loophole to feat here by browsing your aim folder initial and afterwards going to a strange folder to start a copy/move operation.

The finish outcome is that we can’t unequivocally copy/move anywhere solely a Downloads folder. That contingency be a bug since we will need another record path-finder app if we usually wish to pierce some files around.

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Files app duplicating on N1 (left) and N2 (right)

It’s value observant that on N1, there was a Show inner storage choice in a crawl menu when copying/moving files that isn’t there on N2. When tapped, it suggested a device’s storage in a copy/move’s side menu, so vouchsafing we name any office as a target.

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Android N1 can show/hide inner storage when duplicating (left), yet N2 can’t (right)


Copy menu on N1 with inner storage enabled

Attaching files from any office requires some-more taps

We’re finished with a Downloads and Files apps, yet there’s one final component of a Files app that gets called upon: a record picker when we insert files from other apps like Gmail. On N2, we don’t immediately see a choice to open from any folder on your device. You will have to strike a crawl menu and capacitate Show inner storage to be means to crop by all of your directories.

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Android N1 record picker (left) vs N2 (middle) with a dark inner storage choice (right)

These are all a changes and consequences of this combine that we could find between Android N’s Dev Preview 1 and 2. we am privately really happy about a APK designation alleviation yet we find all of a other changes possibly purposeless or annoying.

I wish that a copying/moving thing is a bug since a duty is definitely invalid now. All we need is for a Documents folder to uncover adult in a copy/move/attach’s side menu and you’d have half a problem solved. Then we need a Show inner storage choice to come behind when copying/moving inside a Downloads and Files apps. And that would repair a emanate altogether. Let’s cranky a fingers while we wait for Preview 3 and wish it solves this mess.

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