Google’s new file-sharing app Files Go not yet good to go

We put it to test.

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File sharing apps are on a roll. A few years ago, similar was the case with music sharing via Bluetooth. With the growing adoption of 4G and music streaming services like Gaana and Saavn in India, users appear to be letting go of music sharing habits. Nowadays, people consume more content on smartphones and they seem concerned about sharing large files such HD movies with friends and colleagues. As a result, users have started using an app called SHAREit to share large files.

Apps like SHAREit rely on the concept of Wi-Fi direct, which creates a link between two devices and makes file sharing faster. Search giant Google has now announced a similar app called Files Go. The early developers build of the app is listed on Google Play Store, and we put it to test. So, after the app for an ample amount of time, here we are with our initial observations.

files-go-interface
Google’s Files Go app interface

First things first, Files Go throws a “Trusted Tester Agreement” up on the screen that users must comply with. Unlike other Google apps and services, users don’t have to sign in to a Google account. The app seeks permission to access photos, media, and files stored on a device. Both used and available storage results are displayed on the main page followed by some storage tips.

It also lets users clear app cache (temp files) from apps, unlike SHAREit. What we liked the most about Files Go is its simplicity to locate files to be shared with other users. Photos are arranged in different boxes based on specific apps and services. There was a separate folder for pictures taken via Motion Stills app that Google launched a few weeks ago.

For file sharing, we hit the option ‘Files’ at the bottom right. We tried to transfer a 700MB video file. First, we hit ‘Send’ while on the other hand, receiver hit ‘Receive’ option. Both sender and receiver had to enter the display name in order to locate and identify each other. It also seeks permissions to make/manage phone calls and access the device’s location.

files-go-permissions
Google’s Files Go app permissions

Surprisingly, the app turned on Bluetooth for both the parties. It goes to show that the app uses Bluetooth to send/receive files, unlike SHAREit. Despite repeated attempts, none of the parties were successful in locating each other and sending/receiving files. But as we said before, Files Go is currently in early development (beta). Hence, we cannot expect it work seamlessly at this point.

Currently, Files Go appears to be nowhere close to its probable rival SHAREit, as far as file sharing over Wi-Fi direct is concerned. So, we’ll have a clear idea once the app is out of beta.