Chrome OS 75 mounts third-party Android cloud storage to the native Files app on Chromebooks

Chrome OS 75 should hit the Stable Channel at any time now; in fact, I expected it to have landed this past week. When it does finally appear for Chromebooks, you’ll likely see what I think is a great new feature: Installing an Android cloud storage app will cause that storage to appear in the native Chrome OS Files app as a mounted drive.

Chrome Story recently shared this news, which was first spotted about a month ago on Reddit. Users there noticed not only a Microsoft OneDrive mount in the Files app when using early builds of Chrome OS 75, but also access to NAS, or Network-Attached Storage drives from the Files app when a supporting NAS Android app was installed.

In my testing, cloud storage mounts weren’t appearing, so I dug around in chrome://flags and enabled the arc-documents-provider setting. After a quick restart, I saw OneDrive mounted in my Files app since I had previously installed the Android version of OneDrive.

I also found out that installing Dropbox for Android does not work with the Files app. At least not yet. I suspect Dropbox hasn’t fully implemented the DocumentsProvider API in its Android app. That’s the only reason I can think of for my Dropbox storage not mounting to the Files app, although I could be wrong.

I don’t have a NAS drive, so I couldn’t test that, but the Reddit thread has a few people with positive results in that regard.

For someone like me who mainly works in a browser with cloud services, this is fantastic. I’m often downloading images I have stored on various cloud services only to then upload them to another cloud service, such as WordPress, which is what this blog is run on.

Now, I can choose saved images on OneDrive directly in the Files app – or even the WordPress uploader, since it uses an instance of Files for media uploads – and push them to a post.

Update at 1:06 pm ET, June 22: I’ve installed the Box.com Android app for testing, signed in and it mounted to the Files app on my Chromebook. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Chrome OS 75 mounts third-party Android cloud storage to the native Files app on Chromebooks

  • June 22, 2019 at 12:18 pm
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    Slowly but surely, Chrome OS is incrementally turning into little more than a fragile gossamer veil at the entrance to the Android Play Store. For the same of Chrome OS review, I want Android apps to work much better than they currently do. But at least as a goal for Chrome OS development, I’d much prefer that there would be no incentive to rely heavily on Android apps, if at all.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2019 at 1:34 pm
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    Also Termux works with it as well.

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  • June 22, 2019 at 2:59 pm
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    Does it download everything or is it something like Files on Demand (where it downloads when you request it)?

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  • June 22, 2019 at 4:41 pm
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    Wish I could mount my g suite drive.

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  • June 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm
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    Dropbox doesn’t show on Android’s Files app either, so you’re definitely right about Dropbox not implementing the APIs properly.

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  • June 24, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    I use the Autosync for Dropbox – Dropsync app for my Dropbox needs.

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  • July 1, 2019 at 10:05 pm
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    Sadly, OneDrive allows me to open folders and see files, but it can’t launch any of the local Office (whether Android of Office Online version) files. I wasn’t able to even open any files using any Google document viewer.

    I think this is still half-baked.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2019 at 10:41 am
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    Who the heck will use Chromium since you have Linux, u mad ppl? I use Linux and I am pretty happy with the pCloud’s iOS app and their Linux client as well and they work like a charm for me

    Reply

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