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Bloat vs. Functionality

Yesterday, we merged in a new CM File Manager application into our CM 10 source. This was met with overwhelming support (plus some requests for network features and a Holo-Dark theme). But in those same comments, there was another (smaller) consensus: “Yeah! More Bloatware!”. 

So, is it bloatware akin to a Nascar app or Blockbuster app? Or is it something that is functionally useful to our users? How do we, as CM and ‘gatekeepers’ for these applications decide where the line is? Below is our thought process for including these types of applications, and how we decide what is needed, and what is not. This isn’t meant as ‘justification’ for our actions, because quite frankly, you are choosing to utilize the software as we provide it; instead, it is meant as another window into the CM process. 

System space versus Data space:
A lot of concerns we hear are about “lost space”. This is a misnomer in that unused space on the system partition, is just that: unused. It is not available to the end user for application storage (all Market or user installed apps are installed to /data/app). You as an end user of CM do not gain any space by the removal of apps like Apollo/File Manager from our builds. Conversely, while publishing these apps on the market is possible, users installing it would trade free space on /data for free space on /system - and free space on /system is wasted space. 

Is it really necessary when we can get X from Market?
A fact that doesn’t dawn on a lot of our users is that stock CM does not include a market. You as an end user are supplying your own zips to enable that functionality. Further, even for those with Market access, region restrictions can limit what you are allowed to download. Instead of trying to account for all the variations post-CM install, we focus on out of the box experience. If a new user who doesn’t install a market wants to play music, do they have that ability? What if they want to delete a pdf that was downloaded via an email, or unzip a file they’ve copied to their system?

Would a user expect to be able to do those actions by default, or should they be required (without a market) to hunt the web for a reasonable apk?

These apps are Open Source:
With the exception of ROM Manager (which has been removed from our builds), apps added to CM not only fulfill a purpose, but allow for community contribution for improvements. This is important to us, and is something that helps us crowdsource updates, fixes and management of the application. 

You are still in control:
In ICS and JellyBean you have the ability to assign default applications, and disable applications. In addition, leveraging root or our backup script, you can make it so you never see one of these supplemental applications ever again. 

In the end, we aren’t oblivious to the fact that users may have already established favorite apps to provide these functions. We are also aware that our apps aren’t perfect or 1-to-1 on feature parity with market apps. But, that’s not our goal. Our goal is to ensure that out of the box, you can manage your system, play your music, update your rom, and enjoy CM without the need to flash on a market. 

-The CyanogenMod Team

PS. An Apollo refresh should be arriving in the near future. Andrew Neal has been working hard on improving the application. 
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265 comments
 
Then perhaps there should be a CM market for such things?
 
CM File Manager is not bloatware.  I don't think they understand the meaning of the word.
 
No way. File manager should be present in Stock Android.
Sven Daw
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File manager is something important, you need to install for example Titanium backup. There are other ways, but i consider a file manager a must-have of any android os.
 
Keep on your good work guys. File manager is essential imho
 
People just need to stop moaning and just appreciate all the fantastic work you guys do! 

I for one absolutely love it :)
 
Can't wait to try it. I'm gonna have to load CM10 on my Nexus 10 when I get it.
 
#1: thanks for documenting the decision making process! Good to see what drives inclusion/exclusion.
#2: I believe a file manager is part of the basic functionalities for an OS. I know there are many in the market, but a built in one is certainly worth it.
 
OK. Once the HTC Ville nightlies work again, I'll try it out. Thanks for the head's up.
 
Love the breakdown of policy considerations that go into the inclusion process. Very nice to know that CM thinks about these choices in a predictable way!
 
Anyone that runs CM9/10 ... 9 times out of 10 uses some kind of file manager so is it bloat? Absolutely not. I agree with +Sindri Avaruus . Also the Apollo refresh is good news.
 
I'm a huge fan of the file manager.  I was using OL File Explorer and I prefer this one 1000x.  
 
Does this mean that network connectivity and a Holo-Dark theme are being considered down the road?
 
+Sam Tate just curious as to why you think stock android should never have a file manager?
 
this app will be a lot useful! i wouldnt consider it as a bloatware
 
Love Apollo.. the button line.. i love that CM IT'S  A STREAMLINE EXPERIENCE... So don't pay to much attention of what some people say.. the true is that the GREAT MAJORITY of us are really thankful for your hard work.

Also, thanks for these clarifications.. it's always good to know more about the process (Well actually everything) you do to try to bring the best for your user base.
 
There's no way I could see this as bloatware. This is something with a real world application, unlike, say, an "app" that is just a link to the market yet is still present in your app drawer. i guess some people just don't know what bloatware is.
 
a file manager was well needed! But CM also needs a "root uninstaller" that lists all user apps, and system apps that arent required for the system to function (This file browser, calculator, email, etc) just a thought. i know one can be obtained from the market, but, So can a file manager. :3
 
I can't believe people need this explained.  I say, if you want it done another way, do it yourself.
 
Great idea. No need to explain. The thinkers will understand. There will come a time when this could be really handy.
 
+Jeremy Nickurak Please no. The CM team has it right when they think about the out-of-the-box experience. I would consider a CM store to be bloatware.
 
I've got a Droid X running a LiquidSmooth ICS ROM (as it is the latest and it's likely the last ROM my phone may see) and I'd really love this file manager. Any place I can get the APK?
 
What about adding one more step on the setup wizard, in which the user can select what CM software wants to be installed in the phone? I think Google did something similar in the past.
 
How is this bloat?  It means I can get rid of my other file explorer, free up space and use an open source version that I know won't be sending my data off to some ad agency.
 
It's no bloatware at all,it's just awesome.wondered why there is no file explorer in the stock roms, now you made it!thx!
 
+Sam Tate I guess I can see that. I'm probably somewhere in the middle. I've muddled my way through a few roots and flashing alternative OS's on my and my friends phones but, as I like to buy Nexus phones, I've not really felt the overwhelming need to root stock Android. But there is the occasional app I would like to sideload and I wouldn't mind a built in file manager for those purposes. That said, power users, even combined with people such as myself (I'll just say "enthusiasts"), are still the vast minority. So I guess I'm not mad either way, but good for the CM team for adding though...
 
blotware is that netflix or nascar app that verizon forces on their customers. themes and networking utilites are wonderful apps that do not take up space and are actually useful :) keep it up CM !! loving CM10 on my tablet 
 
Haters gonna hate.

That not withstanding, this level of communication is much appreciated, even considering I was happy about the inclusion of the file manager. Transparency is a good thing. Thanks.
 
Anyone crying about added merges can feel free to shut the f*ck up and build their own.
 
I don't use the CM10 inherent file manager, but neither would I classify it as bloatware. (I prefer Solid Explorer).

We always have the option to delete any apps we don't want pre-installation. I make several edits to the package, i.e. build.prop edits, xbin/su swap and delete ~16 apps in addition to my custom gapps package that maximizes the use of the system partition.

The point is, we can change almost anything we want in accordance with our own level of technical expertise/ability to follow simple instructions/motivation or what-not.
 
+1 for the Apollo refresh!
 
It's a nice, clean, smooth app.. nobody is forcing anyone to use CM or their products, there are more AOSP ROMs out there than I can throw a stick at, it seems like people are bitching just because there's something to bitch about :( #neverhappy   
 
First thing i always do after flashing a new rom is i install root explorer, so i fully support what +CyanogenMod team did! And a huge thank you to them!!
 
First thing I download was ES File Explorer, having this out of the box is just priceless, I agreed that having themes and Network functionality would be nice addition. Great Job!
 
Functional file manager is functional. Duplicating functionality is bloatware. Keep the file manager.
 
I love the file manager! Its already saved me ALOT of time and is making my life easier ( had to reinstall cm10 about 6 times today ) CMFile manager is not bloatware.
 
tl;dr APOLLO REFRESH INCOMING! =D
 
To me Cyanogenmod was the quick fix to have as close to as possible a clean AOSP version of Android on a non Nexus phone with minor I say that again minor tweaks and optimizations that will improve reliability and speed.  However, they have strayed away from that and have much more unnecessary options/settings that make it unappealing to users.  

Someone suggested above a CM Market which I think is a brilliant idea.  This will allow the user to customize the ROM and add options, tweaks, enhancements that he/she wants.  Otherwise there are tons of ROM's out there that offer infinite options and Cyanogenmod has become the same.  Keep it simple, the way it was in the beginning just my thoughts.   

*Edit*

Also, when you have a cleaner ROM that means faster updates on stable versions.  We saw what happened when they skipped a version just because they couldn't roll it out fast enough.
 
Uninstalling apps manually is so old school, that's what scripts in addon.d are for.
 
Even if the functionality is given, people will find nowadays something which is in their eyes gooder and tend to moan.
I highly appreciate the step CM team did and liked it on first sight. As I used to flash a file explorer via recovery I will see in the next days if this will come obsolete.
Side note: the "gooder" was intended...:)
 
Another great thing from the cm team. I like it a lot!
 
If you want to build a completely vanilla AOSP rom, you already can do that yourself.  I appreciate the tweaks and extra functionality in CyanogenMod because they've always been thoughtful.  In the few cases where they've done more harm than good, they didn't withstand the test of time and were dropped.  I don't see any problems here.
 
I like that it was added.. makes a purely default install much more manageable.  But I would like to be able to disable this new file explorer, which I am, as of right now, unable to do.
 
Does the Apollo refresh include support for Google Music?
 
Great to have this included.  Would be great to have a timer/stopwatch included too (I think it's in CM10 but not CM7?).
 
I'm pretty sure that most who install roms or tinker install some sort of file manager to view, remove, add etc...some sort of file on their phones. Whether it be on system, data or sdcard the use of a file manager with root access is almost essential to those who install roms. While some will make a case well use adb or terminal it is not in everyone's best interest nor does everyone know how to use adB or terminal. Its much easier to remove with a file manager then using commands.so I say keep it. I'd put money on that some of those complaining use file managers that have the exact same functions as cms
 
You don't like it? Simply un-install :-) 
 
i love CM10 on my Galaxy s3.. i hope the next stable update would include android 4.2 and all the new goodie found in 4.2!! keep up the good work guys!!
 
I moved off of CM because I lost some of the "bloat" that came on my SIII that I couldn't get back.  I wish CM allowed you to select some of the original software that came with the phone.  Barebones is great but when you can't get an app that you paid for and the ones on the market suck.... what are you going to do?
 
Can't these be added as apps rather than built-in? put it on the app store for people to choose.
 
I'd offer the app in the market and with the app (you can always just disable it)
 
I wish appolo had access to my Google music files 
 
you guys sayin grab it from the appstore just don't get it. sometimes its needed at first boot, without wifi present. having a local file browser i find as a must.
 
I prefer Solid Explorer as my file manager, just my opinion. But apart of that, you have done a great job CyanogenMod. Really. :)
 
Whoever said File Manager is bloatware is a troll! Stop trolling people!!
 
everyone has a preference, but having one at first boot is essential. anyone who thinks otherwise is a very casual user.
 
I think a file manager is a necessity.  I suppose you could get one from the Play Store.  However, the same can be said for the launcher, the music player, etc.  Supplying a default application (when that application is a necessity) certainly isn't bloat!  Having said that, I love the CM10 File Manager app and I've ditched ES in favor of it.
 
+Vasco Reggiando The idea is that they're considering the worst case scenario, someone who wants to run CM stock without installing the Google apps, which includes the Play Store, which is the main source of acquiring apps. Without it, you don't have access to a file managing application unless you manually install it yourself by downloading an apk from somewhere. They're providing the bare minimum needed for someone to install CM without any Google apps or access to the Internet (or even a way of transferring to and from the device via computer), and providing a way for these users to access files on the storage medium directly. Sure, these are edge cases, I agree, but a file manager is an essential part of any OS, so they're making sure there is one there. Personally I like it more than Root Explorer because of how well it's integrated in terms of adhering to the design standards of ICS/JB. The great thing is, it's just more choice for the user, there are no downsides. None. At. All. If you don't like it, disable it, and it'll never bother you again. When it comes to Apollo, I'll never give up PowerAMP for it, in it's current form it just can't compete. But I'm glad to know the choice is there.
 
Great job guys.  File management is a basic, not bloat.  I love ES File Explorer but I'll gladly use the CM file manager and download one less app.
 
Thank you for all of your continued development to support the Android platform! :-)
 
+Armando Ferreira I agree, while I applaud cm for everything they do just seems that they have now joined in the race with all other roms to see who can pack more mods into the rom. I use cm but there's so much stuff on the rom I never use and never thought I would want to debloat a cm-aosp rom. Just my opinion!
 
Please make the File Manager available through Play Store!
 
This is a welcome addition as far as I am concerned.
 
So who's the almighty person(s) that mentioned bloatware?
 
I like the file manager, cannot wait until we can access network storage. 
 
Thanks a ton for taking the time to explain. Now that's open source!
 
+Alan Gurling haha. The point isn't to flame the person, or really even just about the File Manager. Some people (even in this thread) consider CM bloated because it provides options not relevant to them. The post is to address that they are the fringe case, and our thought process. 

I could have easily named all the folks in yesterday's thread and called them out, but that is counter-productive. We have a mission for ourselves, and the better we can explain it, the more people will understand what CM is vs isn't. 

If users want bone stock AOSP, they should find another ROM. 
 
If there is one unnecessary app in CyanogenMod, it is Apollo...

Stock Google Music player app is better...
 
Still waiting for center clock, and the ability to hide the alarm icon in the statusbar..
 
+Gauhar Kachchhi and not available in a CM zip or in some global markets. 

Likewise, there is no Holo music player in AOSP JellyBean source. 
 
Whether or not you agree with this decision, you have to give props to CM for explaining their rationale. Why can't commercial entities communicate like this?
 
+Yaser Osman center clock won't happen and has already been vetoed. Alarm clock hiding...why would you want that? What is the use case there? (legitimate questions, not trolling). 
 
Good job guys! Love cm10 and cyanogenmod! Keep up the good work!
 
Hey guys, you're doing a grateful job. I always enjoy new stuff in CM I can use out of the box. 
 
I don't use CM since Beans is so good on the S3, but there is some good info there which I hadn't considered.  Good post.
 
+Abhisek Devkota Why has it been vetoed?
I always have the alarm enabled, so it is very unnecessary there, since there is a information on the lockscreen about the next alarm. I like it simple and clean. But don't want to change for only this two functions to AOKP or similar roms.

Of course, it's not a huge improvement of functionality, but i think, it's not a very big thing to realise.
It's the little things, like said in another posts some days ago (clickable statusbar clock and date) :). Few days ago in the xda forums i saw, that i'm not the only one, which wants these features. (Sorry for my bad english).
 
The world is a better place because of what you are all doing for CM.
 
File Manager is bloat. Include an apk installer. Things that lose functionality in the long run are what counts as bloat and a file manager is just that. R0.02 worth. 
 
+Yaser Osman The alarm thing gains you little to no useable space in the status bar, and in my mind, is a loss of a functional indicator (regardless if its on the lockscreen). I would have a hard time approving such a feature and don't believe it would be widely used - honest opinion. 

The center clock was vetoed on two grounds, aesthetics and functionality. Aesthetically, it is iPhone-esqe and not in the UI style of AOSP/CM android. Functionally, by moving the clock to the center, you have lost room for notification icons to the left of the center Clock position. You could counter this by allowing notifications to the right of center Clock, but then things look overly cluttered. 
 
With a few edits, this post could be plastered on all fora for people that do not understand software development and/or FOSS. Plus 1 interwebz dear sirs!
 
+CyanogenMod 
Great stuff as always! A small request though:
Please consider making the Apollo app,directly theme-able from the theme-chooser system.
It is quite a pain to theme it through an additional .apk whereas we could include it's theming in a general system theme.

Kindly regards, DaRk_dOg
 
I don't believe you have to be an expert user to need a file manager. I believe it's an essential part of an operating system, so I'm looking forward to see it inside the stock rom.
 
Why not just include F-Droid straight from the standard images? At least it would be a "market" app full of Free Software goodies (well, some are crap, but you can get the gist of this idea).
 
Perhaps the apps can become an addon pack for those who want the extra's like file manager, Apollo etc..
 
+Sam Tate If someone is confused by the file manager simply doesn't use it, but removing this feature for everyone is something apple do. 
 
This is a wonderful addition to CM. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to browse my filesystem for something quick without setting up my account, letting it download updates and then download ES File Explorer (my file manager of choice). Unless you guys add functionality to support (S)FTP servers I'm probably going to stick to ES File Explorer since it includes this functionality and it's insanely easy to copy things from the SFTP server to my phone.

Either way it will be very useful at one time or another!
 
+1 to the CM team. Haters gonna hate. Root explorer is always the 1st app I install after a flash, and m pretty sure m not the only guy doing so.
 
Not work for me, i compile CM10 from source and after Confirm switch, say Unable to gain the required privileges to function and just close.
Al T
 
I say make it an add on and that would make everyone happy. Don't forget you make the best ROM running but you can't please everyone. 
 
Dont know if I m doing something wrong but it isn't showing up in app drawer and when I tried to install it manually it fails
(@ S2)
 
This is the type of feature that i consider necessary. If you root your device then chances are you will needed things like a file manager at some point anyway. What you think +***** +maurice oatis 
 
So the thing here actually is, does it have RW like Root Explorer? and most important, will it ever have the network features?

Coz i've been searching for a LONG time a decent looking app, and all are pretty crappy.. this one at least looks like google's work, lets hope u guys improve it until ES File Explorer is just an equal and not a better app!

Keep it up!
 
This is a welcome addition. A file manager is very basic functionality, and it's odd that AOSP doesn't include one by default. Thanks, guys!
 
Dude, nothing that can be straightforwardly deleted more than half-qualifies as bloatware in any event, and a file manager is 0% bloatware as long as it's not so horrendous that it's completely unusable. (I trust anything bearing the CM imprimatur to pass that test sight-unseen, faint praise though that be.)
 
A file manager is the one thing I missed the most from cm. I'm really glad to see it included.
 
I just bought a file explorer yesterday (needed to move things around as root). Oh well, I don't mind supporting the android dev community.
 
If you can do the same or better job than a market app, and do it integrated, I say hell yes.  This isn't Minesweeper were talking about.
 
People will ALWAYS find SOMETHING to complain about. Keep up the good work! 
 
keep doing what you're doing CyanogenMod team. you can't please all these entitled people. i think they forget they get this for free and with no effort involved...
 
If a good file manager on a rooted phone/tablet doesn't make sense, then what does?
Darren's right, someone's always complaining.
 
The lack of a file manager has always been a mystery to me. What good is your data if you can't manage it? 
 
By no means am I trying to say I already want more out of this file manager but having cloud support for Google drive would make this file manager perfect for me
 
I like that you guys provide a lot of functionality otb.

The less I have to hunt for good apps on the Play Store (which is filled with crappy, poorly designed non Holo apps) the better. 
 
Something that probably should have been mentioned:  In manufacturer firmwares, the bloat that users have the most problem with is bloat that starts background services which you can't remove/stop without root.  The new file manager isn't in this category.

+Vasco Reggiando What is your specific rationale for uninstalling certain items?  What is it about their mere presence bothers you so much?

CM File Manager - Does not start any background services or use any memory if not started by the user.  Most launchers allow you to hide system apps so you can hide the icon.  Once you have hidden the icon, what is the benefit of removing the app?  None - as stated in this post, unused /system space carries no benefit.

Same goes for Apollo.  No background services that start without user interaction, so no negatives stem from its presence.

I could understand outrage if CM added something that started automatically in the background without user interaction, but none of the things you are complaining about fit in this category.
 
Keep up the good work and great craftmanship! Absolutely love CM.
Thanks! 
 
Can't say I'm a huge fan of Apollo right now (that may change with the mentioned overhaul of the application), but CM as a whole has always given a great experience, and the new File Management sounds GREAT to me (as well as a lot of users I'm sure)! The additions of ftp/network drives/etc. would be great, but isn't a necessity, and I doubt anyone who uses CM minds the wait (or if it never comes at all, god forbid! lol jk). At any rate, this was a nice look into the CM team's process!
 
Great job CM. I've wanted a file explorer built in for a long time. Never understood why it wasn't part of Android. For the ingrates complaining just ignore them. You guys know what you're doing, your work thus far is proof of that. 
 
Apollo has some noticeable usability issues, but it's one of the best in the Free Software range of Android apps for playing music :)
 
I think it's a GREAT addition. It makes a fresh setup a piece of cake now. Before I'd have to access the market and install a file manager before I could side load additional apks. Now I can do it right away. 
 
File manager? Nope, I'll just keep using solid explorer.
 
As a cm user from the early days in 2008 till now, there is no better user experience CM. The file manager is a welcomed addition. Keep up the great work. 
 
So a lot of what I am seeing here is "WHY??" or "I'll just keep using this, or that." Lets see, Pre ICS.. File Manager was built in. None of you bitched and complained then. Guess you all forgot about that. Having CM FM built in is one less thing I need to worry about grabbing. And with it being open source, it allows ANYONE to submit changes to enhance onto it.
 
Suggestion: To balance CM-board decisions with varying user-preferences, how about working towards a dynamic and automated build system where in which down loaders can chose what they want to be in the build and what not, so everyone gets only what they want and wouldn't have to adjust with compromises ? I know what am asking requires a careful planning and implementation with a major focus on versioning and needing a lot of effort, but it certainly can be a super-build-factory that churns out varying build combinations. 
 
When I first got into Android I was amazed the there WASN'T a native file manager. I welcome it and hope dark theme and network make the list. 
 
So far I'm liking it. I'm just going to throw my vote out there and say a dark theme would be awesome as with network sharing and the ability to switch from landscape and portrait mode
 
CM still the best ROM I have used and is evolving very nicely. The person who said the B word should go and by a HP PC Toshiba PC Motorola phone or (if your in Australia) a phone with telstra then you no/understand what bloatware really is.
Paul W
 
Thanks for this post, I was one of the people that screamed "bloat" that said, I actually said "bloat, functional bloat but bloat nonetheless".

I totally understand why CM would include apps. But again, feel that not everyone is in that boat where they need CM to fill these gaps. Some of us have these gaps filled.

I personally will never need a music player that I can't sync with my laptop as that is connected to my huge music collection and I often send a playlist over. Everyone is not me and that's totally understandable.

But the reality is that in most use cases, the users of CM are geeks who managed to find their ways to CM in a bid to get away from the pre-bundled apps and framework. Users that want to simply forge their own ways. And in many of those cases HTC and Touchwiz said the same things "it's in system/user so it doesn't affect you" but still, being geeks, we like our system clean. It's like buying a house and being told that despite not using the old antique wardrobe, just stick it in the garage and deal with it.

I never liked OI File manager and was stuck with it on my system. Yeah I could hide it but it was there. Now there's this and again it'll be there. I do however like both Root Browser and Open File Manager (which is in itself open source). I keep both on my system, but that's my choice. Everyone is entitled to their own choices.

I believe in CyanogenMod and want the project to be successful. Granted the buzz around CM isn't huge at the moment, but I believe in the fundamental freedoms of which it provides us users. Which is that users have a choice. I'd hope that as it matures, we're able to get more choice and that we can have a CM without the bundled apps that so many of us have braved S-OFFing and ROOTing to escape from. Again, I get the use case and that's great for some people, but it's also not so great for others.
 
Even if I've no real use for it generally speaking as I rely on ES File Explorer for LAN functionality, a stock file manager is a very useful thing to have, as if you've got an APK for something like Titanium Backup sitting somewhere, it means you can reinstall it via the file manager without needing to much around with side-loading via ADB or reinstalling a market app and then downloading. I vote "yes" for an included file manager being a "Good Thing!".
 
As long as it stays out of memory when we're not using it, I'm cool w/ it.  I'm all for a file manager baked in.  If it doesn't fit my needs, I'll just go back to ES.
 
I bought root explorer a few weeks ago. I rather would have send the money to the CM account. In other words, no way a file manager is bloatware. Just think of this: How would you access your files on your windows PC without the file explorer?
It just makes CM more complete.
 
Anyone else not getting wifi to work on the New Jewel Nightly for 11/01? Got any ideas?
 
There are already a plethora of file explorers out there. The best being Solid Explorer. I would rather see efforts put into making CM10 better and also bring support to the HP Touchpad.
 
I really think this is a storm in a tea cup. surely given points in the main post above there are better things to focus on?
And this all leads me to wonder how many people commenting and otherwise expressing their preferences for the direction of CM have bothered to make a donation? Support the team and have your say or stay stum and take what you are given I say.
 
Speaking of things changed in the most recent nightly build, I'm no longer experiencing visual artifacts when I rotate my screen or change volume when I'm watching YouTube videos on my Verizon Galaxy S III! I don't know how you did this, but this is great! You guys are awesome!
 
why not just have the option to install/uninstall programs during the initial OS installation? Much like Windows Features where you can enable/disable features within the OS. This would differ from the APP market because it would be a narrowed down version of what you guys, as the developers, think the users will find useful as they are navigating the system
 
Considering a file manager to be one of the first things we download on a fresh install, I welcome the idea. 
 
File manager is not bloatware and is needed because sometimes you need to install an App right after you flashed the rom without having internet connection. 
 
Peter Fisher-Duke. CM had something like that in CM7. A fresh install would offer to download and install several useful apps, if IIRC.

I welcome the file manager idea! Bring it! I'm flashing right now just to try it out.

I would like to see cyanogenmod apps released on various markets as well as being included stock, however, so that users can install them on non-CM devices, and app updates won't require a new ROM flash or update.zip unless you just really want to wait for the new version so as to keep it out of your data folder.
 
Out of the box functionality like this is essential.  Gratz to the CM team for incorporating it. 
 
If it works better than the one I have then awesome, if not I can remove it. No big deal 
 
File manager is great if people want to complain the uninstall it or use a different ROM I mean it's what root is for to remove system apps etc... so stop complaining and just put up with it 
 
File manager is welcome addition on my phone. Can't wait to download the nightly. Rock on +CyanogenMod 
 
Black theme will be useful and help to keep battery 
 
As an engineer whi has a love for both sides of the tracks, the line between lean and bloat is not an arbitrary one. For every new feature added, you have to ask yourself does it really add significantly to the value of the product? Even if yes, it total integration a plus or would a more modular approach make sense? The former is the Wiindows approach, the latter is moreUNIX like. Not glamorous questions but important all the same,,,
 
how do you install an apk with it? useless without that ability
 
File browser is most certainly not bloatware! If you think it is you need your head checked out.
 
There are reasons other than "bloat" to have these as separate things, of course. One really obvious one is being able to get an update for one without getting an update for another. Do you really want to flash your phone with a new ROM just to get a new feature in your file manager?
 
Please please please, in the next version let me point Apollo to wherever I want to keep my music! Is that too much to ask? Maybe then I can un-freeze it.
 
That, my friends is the essence of what an open source OS should be.
 
I for one am very grateful for a simple inbuilt file manager in my ROM. I already have the ES File Explorer APK on my sdcard (as well as the TiBu APK). How the hell am I supposed to install those without a file manager? I can redownload them, but that's a pain as they already exist on my SD Card. And I like to install TiBu and restore my previous Android ID before logging in to my Google Accounts. It seems to help me avoid getting 10+ instances of the same damn device on my account. Google Music only allows me to remove 4 devices a year. And Cerberus will be 100% functional when the app/data are restored if the previous Android ID is restored first. I don't have to relogin to Cerberus and fudge about with settings. It's ready from the get go. Very useful if I should ever lose my phone immediately after flashing it. That's not incredibly far fetched because sometimes I find myself flashing my phone en route to things like concerts.
 
Functionality all the way. This stuff isn't bloat at all.
 
I was delighted to see a file browser app (albeit limited) bundled with the GS3 stock firmware and therefore feel this is a welcomed addition to CM.
 
Basicaly guys I want to thank you for your priceless contribution to us the end users. It is obvious that you cannot satisfy everybody but everybody can use whatever they like in the rom and reject what does not.

I just want to make a suggestion, can you work on OOM task killer so that it does not kill the launcher? Can you make the launcher invincible? Any launcher. That would be a serious contribution like the CM updater. There is a mod to make the launcher "bullet proof" but still it is better to come from the source itself because then we will know that has been tested thoroughly.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.
 
It is a great idea. Can install TB now straight away after installing. 
 
The whiners who don't want the file manager or Apollo to come pre-installed on CM10 can compile their own ROM.  The "Bloat" argument is quite weak.  These are awesome improvements.
 
No matter what you do haters gonna hate. I haven't installed cm on my phone waiting for stable release of 10 but I love what you do keep it up and don't stop.
 
is an .apk or flashable .zip available for those using unofficial or kanged builds? EDIT: oops didn't see the github link sorry xD
 
Great point, it's really needed.. I agree that apollo realy needs polishing.. BTW, file manager's ui is awesome, good job cm...
 
You are root. You are free to install whichever ROM you want on your device. A file manager is one app I couldn't do without. Great move cm team. Now add smb support :-) 
 
Haters gonna hate. I support those apps totally! (provided my Arc will be supported by cm10 sooner or later, but take your time =))
 
I was just about to ask about an update to Apollo. Oh wow. Nice. 
 
Functional. If its good ill use it instead of what I use now. If not its great when you do a full reinstall. 
 
Sai o Android 5.0, e a CM10 não fica pronta. 
Translate
 
the arguement can be made on anything in the system as always, if you really want to care about it, use a flashable zip if you must to uninstall the stuff, or do it manually and quit complaining. android is about choice.

on the topic, awesome for file manager, hoping you have dual panel in landscape at least. and apollo could use a touch up on some proper file error handling.
 
It is bloatware if it's waivable rather than optional.  Let us opt in, not out.  

but, that's just a semantic look at it.  
 
It's great if you want to run an App-Restore APK to restore all your saved apps from a fresh install without having to go to the market :)
 
Thank you for that explanation. I think it is very reasonable and I applaud you for thinking of those who don't have/want Google apps. Many people tend to forget that android is not just about Google. 
 
Great post - keep up the great work and thanks for everything! FWIW - I would love to see the Holo-theme as well as the ability to access NAS from the CM File Manager! Cheers. 
 
Hey, be glad Verizon doesn't own cm cause then you'll have Lets Golf and vcast on it.
 
Very good file manager. I like it. dark theme will be great
 
+Jeremy Nickurak I believe I read awhile back that the CM team was tossing around the idea of a Root Market of some sort. Or maybe I was dreaming...
 
Whatever you guys do is great. I had never thought that my vibrant will run on JB. thanks guys
 
I like it. Thanks for all the hard work.
 
After the first installation of CM10 on LG Optimus Speed I really missed a filemanager!! Thx to +Ricardo Cerqueira for his work on this device. To have a filemanager per default is great. Espacially when you install CM the first time and need to get around on your phone.
 
just gave it a shot on my DHD, given its a early release, there are a couple of things that would make it my replacement for solid explorer. dark theme(which has already been mentioned), thumbnail for pics, and landscape mode. (oh, i like this new copy/paste method)

dual panel would be an epic addition to it as well.
why is the open with dialog handled by the app rather than the systemwide dialog?
 
This new app is just awesome ! With it's so beautiful look and the ease to access the feature! Thanks! 
 
Very good post, highlighting some easily missed/forgotten points.

Even if it is seen as bloatware by people, it;s easily removed by apps like system tuner (which I use) or others.

Thanks for post ... whoever wrote it and the clarification it brought.
 
I don't consider a file manager or music player bloatware. You need it, and if a good one is already included, thats just great.
Removing Rom Manager was also a good step, you don't need this app at all..
 
+CyanogenMod Hey, if you guys need a translator from English to Romanian, I'd be glad to help you. Just send me a message if you do.
 
File manager is an essential piece of software for any OS. I was shocked when I learned, that Android didn't have a decent FM by default. CM team is doing the right thing by fixing this searing gap in functionality. As for bloat: OS should include everything needed to start working with your device "out of the box" and file management is something everyone does, who uses a smartphone even if to move some files around on SD card and send them elsewhere. As for the critics: hey, dialer and camera apps are bloat too, let's remove them, let the user decide. Even the interface itself is a bloat, lets remove that and get android version of LFS as the end result where user has to put together a decent working environment with ADB.
 
СМ10 keep in this way
 
it's good to have built in file manager inside custom rom. rock on cm10! :)
 
so, why does not CM use an installer like the AROMA Installer? I use Andromadus Mimicry, and the installer is great. Why not letting the user decide what he wants and what not right when he installs the ROM?
 
New CM File Manager is AWESOME, thanks!! 

A little improvement/feature request: Please add a md5 calculation to zip files (i.e.) in order to check if downloaded zip is right.

Thanks again for this piece of software
 
love +CyanogenMod builds, bloatware or not, you can always replace it with another. my favorite, es file explorer. +Sam Tate , we do care where things are saved on our devices.
 
Cm filemanager seems Nice... if you dont it just remove it with... with tb or any other way, but don't complaint !
 
CM File Manager is Great. This is what users want to see in CM10. Great Job guys.
 
How can anyone call this bloatware? It great having a file manager out of the box! Keep up the good work CM.

EDIT:Maybe you guy can release your apps as a separate package, you know to make peace with those who consider this bloatware.
Jared G
 
Integrated file manager is a welcome addition.
 
I love the file manager. I think this a damn useful feature. Now I don't have to install a third-party filemanager for my needs. :) keep.up the great work!
 
Any file that comes with CM is NOT bloatware, yes I do remove some apks from the ROM before install but that's because I don't use those features. Still an amazing phone OS, I swear by it. The file manager is great. +1 for the dark holo theme, and ad it to the MMS apk while your at it ;) ha jk. Would be nice though. 
Zap Hon
 
I agree with a lot of others. I'm not sure why stock android doesn't contain a file manager. I gladly welcome the new file manager.
 
I don't consider something as basic as a file manager to be bloat. We should ignore the idiots who assert otherwise, if they don't like it, they're free to fork CM and remove that and distribute it according to license.
 
I would love network mounting support within CNN File Manager or natively. As to weather or not CM File Manager is bloat, it it's my beleaf it is not. 
 
The built in file manager is very useful
 
File manager is great and a Holo theme would be superb. On another subject ....sorry if this is the wrong place but....is dsp meant to work with other apps like tunein? I can't get it it to work on Bluetooth. Help? 
 
I love cm file manager! I was actually installing and un installing file managers all week and I was thrilled when cm built a powerful and beautiful manager 
 
Love your ROM's you do good work and i use the CM updater all the time
 
Yea but it seems that cm10 has a data issue 
 
Wouldn't the rumored "customization center" for the rumored new Nexus program solve this problem?

What's supposed to be happening is that Google will let manufacturers brand new devices as Nexus if they meet certain design requirements. This was to include a "customization center" that would allow the user to choose whether to turn on TouchWiz or Sense, etc., rather than having destructive shell replacements pre-installed on the devices.

CM10 could use this customization center to add official options packages. 
 
I don't think it is bloatware, because I uninstalled ES file explorer as soon as I found it. Apollo on the other hand.. It hasn't worked for 10 updates, Now it have to have it frozen otherwise it tells me apollo has stopped over and over. I assume it will be fixed by the stable release. I hat to just complain but I also miss having the powersave gov. toggle in the notification screen on the stock touchwiz ROM(SGS3). Otherwise I LOVE CM! can't wait for the "stable" release.
 
Looking forward to cm10 for the t899(v) :) if people think there's bloat with cm they didn't look into their stock Rom :-)
 
I have always liked roms with a built in file manager.
 
Oh screw the trolls. Cm was never the lightweight distro, always the featured one.
 
I don't think it is bloatware, but... why not make it a separate download? GAPPS? Why not CMAPPS? :)
 
Hi, I am not sure where to put this but , "Why do you not have a ROM for Huawei ideos X5 (U8800)". Can u add this wonderful device?
 
File manager is so nice.. Just installed cmd10 on Sony xs :)
 
Great addition as I install a file manager manually right away. The only way the File Manager would be bloat is if it lacks features and requires installing another app to make up the gap in functionality. One example is a toggle for viewing hidden files.
M Enn
 
bloat +1, because I use another better file manager
 
File manager is not bloatware. Keep up the great work!
 
File manager my ass, it's just a stupid file browser and why aren't anyone pointing that out, you can't cut, copy or paste anything.. Pice of shit is what it is and in that regard yes it's bloatware, get your facts straight. 
 
yeah rohail is right! work on the battery instead of other useless stuff we can find on the Play store. please!
 
Would you say Windows Explorer or Nautilus is bloaware in the win/Lin distros?? :-) 
 
Haters gonna hate. Keep doing your thing cyanogenmod dudes. 
 
If CM only produced ROMs with little, hairy testicles for all of their system app icons and only porn moans for ringtones I'd still use it and thank you for it. People forget that this is freely given and not our right or entitlement. 
 
Agreed file manager is a necessity for normal everyday task. Can't have Windows without Explorer, GNOME without Nautilus or KDE without dolphin... so why would it be different for Android? Keep up the great work cyanogedmod team! My S2 and I have never been happier!! Sgh-i777 running the latest cm10 nightlies = greatness!
 
Yeah I wish I could remove that bloatware of a file manager from my PC /s 
 
It doesn't give me the option to disable it on my Nexus 7 (the button is grayed out). I like solid explorer so I don't really need another file manager. 
 
I think a lot of people are missing the purpose; when I'm flashing CM for the first time and I forget to add the gapps.zip to the SD card, now I can download it and add it myself. Otherwise I would have to use another phone or plug my phone in. For that alone I am happy and fine with this 
 
when will the android 4.2 vchanges be committed to CM10? There has been relatively little to no news of Google commiting the changes to the AOSP database. Thanks for the great work guys!!
 
While I choose another file explorer for my needs, there should be a root-capable file browser built into the operating system. This is not bloatware so long as it's not doing anything in the background.
 
The file manager is not showing up in the latest nightly for Toro. It's in the system app folder but is not installed. Any insight? I'd really like to try it out. 
 
A file manager is essential that's right but there are very good ones in the market (e.g. root explorer, solid explorer) and who knows if your file manager is only half as good? It will be very hard to compete with the ones mentioned above. 
Mur Mur
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1
 
I am still wondering why you guys don't use MIUI's file explorer.
 
I personally like the idea of a "bare essentials OS". This makes me also prefer the idea of CyanogenMod having its own Market to download things like this. I can see how someone would love to have the CM File Manager, but I use ES. I like being able to add my own network shares and Google Drive access to it. Some people prefer Strong. Others prefer Root Explorer. I've personally never enabled anything in DSPManager. Does it have to be in there? I don't like Terminal Emulator either. I prefer Better Terminal Emulator. Does it have to be installed? I think it would be nice for CM to have their own Market to promote their own apps, and perhaps even suggest apps, without adding them automatically.
 
We needed a File Manager... what other OS that you use doesn't have some sort of File Manager? (minus the other guys who lock their shizzo down more than they should...)

I don't like having to install a root browser... its just one more app that I have to keep up with in terms of wakelocks and permissions...  so having a trusted app in the mix is awesome!

Thanks guys!
 
I like that CM now has a file manager built in, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to move files around within it. HELP!
 
+Terrance Durousseau select the box for whatever it is you want to move, navigate to the directory you want to move it to, and then hit the menu button and hit "move selection".
 
So glad we finally have a OOB file manager.
 
Heard of the CM file mgr, and immediately installed the newest nightly... then proceeded to remove the 3rd party file manager I had downloaded from the Play store.. you genius devs shouldn't have to explain yourselves to morons. Keep up the good work!
 
I like the idea of the file manager, but have any of you succeeded at using this file manager to move files around? Doesnt seem to be working for me. If you have done it, please tell me how it's done. Not being able to move files around is driving me crazy!
 
I love the new File Manager.  I recently purchased Root Explorer and have since abandoned it.  As soon as I can get my hands on a Stable Release for the d2spr, I'm donating a fat $20 and will put you guys on a regular monthly donation regimen.  You guys are a societal inspiration through open source technology.  I'm looking forward to your move in to politics.  Government by open source can only be a good thing.
 
I wish i had CM. on my Atrix HD.
 
File managers are needed. People need to quit bitching. Don't like what cm does? Go back to stock. You don't deserve cm. 
 
As long as it don't slow down the system, it's functionality, not bloatware. And you can never have too much functionality. Never.
(Reversely, if it slows down the system, then it's bloatware, not functionality)
 
It needs a .zip extractor to be fully functional
 
Even on my old i9000 the new file manager is super fast.

The interface is smooth and apart from no network mounts it is pretty damn good.

Nice work devs!
 
If these are essential to some users without market access why aren't they provided in a flashable zip? Users with a market flash the GApps zip already.

Or alternatively, (assuming it is possible) how about making it so any non-AOSP apps CM includes install as user apps  so that they are uninstallable without knowledge of the FS?
 
I love the minimalistic look, and CMFM gave me an excuse to uninstall File Expert (which is nevertheless awesome) for something else.(Running it on a Samsung Galaxy S Blaze so any excuse to save app space is good.) I have two suggestions:

1. When you press and hold the path, it gives a notification showing the full path. It would be nice if it also copied that path to the clipboard.

2. It was days before I figured out how to navigate from sdcard0 to sdcard1, because it was in Safe Access mode. How about an initial warning that prompts the user as to which access mode the user would like to run it in?
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