Microsoft commits to a file manager app for Windows Phone 8.1

Summary:Microsoft is building a file manager app for Windows Phone 8.1 and is hoping to get it into the Windows Phone Store by May.

Microsoft is planning to deliver a File Manager for Windows Phone 8.1.

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Joe Belfiore, the Vice President of Windows and Windows Phone User Experience, confirmed that the file manager is coming during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on May 2.

"We are doing a File Manager for WP8.1! I know a LOT of you are looking for this (thanks for the tweets, I've read them all). In fact, I've been running a build of it on two of my phones for the last week or so and it's getting to pretty good shape," Belfiore said.

He added that Microsoft is hoping to get the File Manager into the Windows Phone Store "HOPEFULLY by the end of May."

Windows Phone 8.1 is currently available in Developer Preview form . Anyone (whether actually developing Windows Phone apps or not) can get the preview bits for their Windows Phone 8 devices by signing up as a developer.

Belfiore also posted a link to six screen shots showing off the File Manager.

Windows Phone users have been vocal in their requests for a file manager for Windows Phone.

During the Reddit AMA, Belfiore also said that Microsoft is talking with Snapchat about getting that application on Windows Phone. He said an updated Facebook app should be available by June for the platform. The updated Facebook application will include performance improvements, support for full-width photos in the newsfeed, and the added ability to see photos and comments simultaneously, he said. 

Belfiore also fielded questions from users who are unhappy with Microsoft's feature rollout pace, its not-so-functional music support, its decision to change how it handles integration with regard to its hubs, and more. None of his answers to these questions revealed any deep, dark secrets, but they're worth a read by those trying to understand the twists and turns of Microsoft's mobile strategy.

Update: Microsoft has added a User Voice feedback site specifically forCortana, its digital-assistant that is part of Windows Phone 8.1, Belfiore said during the Reddit. Belfiore also confirmed that Microsoft is planning to make Cortana available beyond the U.S., starting with the U.K. and China. More voices in other languages for Cortana is on the roadmap, as well. 

Topics: Mobile OS, Microsoft, Windows Phone

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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