Following a slew of Android-related commits to the Chromium Gerrit for Chrome OS, there’s another we spotted which is probably the best addition yet. We’ve seen improvements to parental controls and the addition of Android app shortcut searches. Now we’re getting a highly requested feature – Chromebooks with Android app support may soon finally be able to see all Android files on the device within the native Chrome OS Files application.
Chromebooks with support for Android apps have a major limitation right now: You can’t see files in Android’s /data/media, the storage location that Android applications store files for the user to access. Well, that’s not entirely true since you are able to access the Android Downloads folder, but that was about it. If you wanted to access a file stored by an Android app in another directory, you either had to move it to a cloud storage location or move it to the Android Downloads folder. That’s set to change.
Now it’s going to be much easier to access your Android files on Chrome OS, as you’ll be able to see the entirety of your Android external storage. This is useful for a number of reasons, including applications which may download files to their own folders instead of the Downloads folder.
It is an experimental feature that will need to be enabled via a flag titled
chrome://flags#show-android-files-in-files-app. The “Android files” option will then be viewable in the left pane of the Chrome OS Files application.
For those wanting to give it a try as soon as it’s available, you’ll have to wait for the commit to be merged and then switch over to the Canary builds. Canary builds are released every few days, but are generally highly unstable and not recommended for daily use. Still, not only will you be able to copy your Android files from anywhere, you’ll also get all of the other Android related features we’ve spotted in recent weeks. That’s not including any of the extra improvements that Google may have packed in too. If you switch over to the Canary build, be sure to back up all of your files beforehand and you should be good to go!
Update: Android Files section is live
As pointed out by /u/InauspiciousPagan on /r/ChromeOS, the Google Pixelbook on Chrome OS Canary now has access to Android files in the Files app once you enable