Want to use a USB flash drive with your Android phone or tablet? Plenty of Android devices can recognize a flash drive… but since Android doesn’t have a built-in file browser, up until now you’ve needed to use a third-party app to actually explore the flash drive.
Google’s changing that with Android M.
Now when you insert a USB flash drive, a USB icon shows up in the notification tray asking if you’d like to explore or eject the drive.
Choose the Eject option, and you get a note letting you know it’s safe to remove the drive.
Choose Explore, and a file browser opens up letting you navigate the contents of the flash drive.
You can choose to browse in list or grid views. Both views will show thumbnail icons for photos and other types of content, but the grid view shows larger thumbnails.
Tap-and-hold any item and a toolbar will appear at the top of the screen with options for deleting or sharing a file. There’s also a “Copy to” option which lets you send a file to your internal storage or Google Drive. You can also select multiple files.
There’s also a search button which you can tap to search the contents of your flash drive.
Open up the file explorer’s settings view and you can see information about the amount of available space as well as options for ejecting, or erasing and formatting your flash drive.
Want to know what else is new in next version of Android? Check out our preview of Google Android M.