ownCloud Android 2.11.0 Release – Access Your Files from Any Android App
Working with your files on Android devices now becomes easier than ever before, thanks to the ownCloud Android app. The ability to access your files form any app – without the need for a specific integration – and the new unified upload experience are only two of the new features included in the recent app update.
Kudos go to our community contributors Shashvat Kedia for bringing us the Android native file picker, and to Hannes Achleitner for enabling every app user to record and send logs as part of reporting bugs. Abel García also deserves a special mention. As an intern developer he made it possible to access ownCloud files from other Android apps.
Access Your ownCloud Files From Any Android App
A deep and smooth Integration into the operating system of your device is key when using a file sync and share solution. Even more so on mobile devices – simply because of the limitations due to small screens and rather limited multitasking capabilities.
That’s why it is important to be able to access your files where you need them. Sharing a document via a messenger app or retouching some of your photos are only two use cases. In either case it is necessary to bring a file into a third-party app. To make this happen, some file sync and share solutions require their own integration into third-party apps. With the new ownCloud Android app you now have full access to all of the files stored in your ownCloud from any Android app on your mobile device. No specific ownCloud integration required.
This is possible by the new feature “Document Provider”. Thanks to the Storage Access Framework provided by Android the ownCloud Android app can now seamlessly integrate into the Downloads app of Android 7 and 8 or the Files app of Android 9.
From now on you can not only apply actions like renaming or deleting to files/folders inside your ownCloud using Android’s default file handling app. It also allows you to access your ownCloud files from any third-party app, as long as this app has access to Android’s default app for file handling (see above). Since basically every Android app, which needs to handle files in some way or another, uses the Storage Access Framework, you can rejoice at being able to use the files stored in your ownCloud pretty much everywhere on your Android device.
To use this new feature simply select the ownCloud account appearing in the side menu of your Downloads/Files app – or when accessing a file from within a third-party app which uses the Storage Access Framework.
Here are some demonstrations of what you can do using the Document Provider integration:
Android Native File Picker
Probably you have already seen the custom file picker used in the Android app to choose files and upload them, as well as the option to upload content from other apps.
To make user experience more consistent, we decided to unify these two options by using Android’s native file picker for everything. You can now enjoy the same look and feel, whether uploading files from internal storage or from other apps.
Here is how it looks:
Shortcut to Available Offline Files
A small but convenient improvement is the new “Available offline” item in the side menu. It allows you to access all of your offline files much easier.
Logs for Everyone
This feature may not be something every user comes into contact with. But nevertheless, it helps us to further improve the app for you.
So what is this feature and why is it important? Whenever you experience an unexpected behavior of the app (something it shouldn’t do or should do in a different way) we highly appreciate you to file a little bug report. Then we can try to fix it and improve the app. In many cases you will be asked for logs, because they can provide developers with hints about what happened and what went wrong.
In previous releases of the app, creating logs was only possible for users with debug or beta versions of the up. From now users of the official ownCloud Android app downloaded from Google Play can enable logging, too.
Since you typically only need logs if you want to file a bug, enabling logging is a bit of a hidden feature. However, activating is super simple: You first need to enable the developer menu by navigating to the app’s settings page, scrolling down to the very end and click the ownCloud app version five times. After that, you can access and send your app’s logs via the new settings menu item “Logs”.
Bug Fixes and Improvements
Last but not the least, we have fixed some errors reported by our users.
You no longer have to fear that the app crashes when you clear successful/failed uploads or when creating a new folder during the upload process of new files.
Users with a notched display can now enjoy some views of the app being displayed in a better way.
Problems with folders containing brackets (“[” and “]”) in their folder names not showing the folders’ content have been solved.
Passwords containing “§” no longer cause a login attempt to fail.
Download the New Version of the ownCloud Android App
Make sure to update now, to benefit from the new features.
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