Enhance your file management capabilities with the Commander One App from Eltima.
There are multiple differences between the PC World and the Mac World. Many of us have chosen sides, and yet others live a Swiss/Blended lifestyle. As an early PC adopter, I grew to enjoy the file explorer and the method of opening/moving/copying/deleting files. When I moved to my MacBook Pro 15″, I had an entirely new system to learn. I was somewhat disappointed with the Finder App on my MacBook Pro, desiring a multi-panel display, specifically with drag and drop options. Eltima Software has created an App that called Commander One, which may provide the ideal blended system. Written in the Swift language (programming language Apple developed for iOS and OS X Apps), the software promises to fill in the missing gaps of the Finder App. Once you narrow down the software that you want, you must decide if you want the Mac OS App Store version or the Non-App store feature because there are differences.
I chose to attack this review as if I was not comfortable downloading Apps that were not in the App Store. A quick search for Commander One brought up both the free version and the paid version. I download the free App from the App Store, and within about a minute, the application was downloaded. Once downloaded, I navigated to Launchpad and double clicked the thumbnail to activate the application. You will need to navigate through a few boxes before you can enjoy the “dual-pane” file manager system. The app will ask for you to choose a destination and recommended MacOS for efficiency. I complied with this, chose next and began to utilize the application. The app then took me through a series of panels that detailed the features of the application. The welcome panel showed that you could change the display mode from full, brief or thumb, toggle the ability to view hidden folder, open up as many tabs as you would like and see/manage active file operations. With the Pro Pack, you get many of the features that the Eltima Cloud Mounter App provided. For example, Device mounting, Dropbox, Google Drive mounting, Amazon S3 mounting, FTP manager. With the PRO Pack, you will also gain the ability to compress and extract, mount external devices like an Android smartphone or digital camera; you can change the theme/layout and see a process manager. Since I have already evaluated/used/downloaded the CloudMounter App, the paid version of Commander One became less cost-effective in my life. I do wish that the MTP feature was part of the free application, as the ability to mount USB connected devices (androids, digital cameras, etc.) would be incredibly useful. Additionally, you cannot mount iOS devices if you use the Mac OS Appstore version of the program (according to their website). The major differences between the App version and the website download version can be summarized in six features: restart as root, ignore system settings for F1-F12, Comand line, Mount IOS devices, terminal emulator, Quit processes are not available on the Mac Apps Store app at this time. Command line, mount IOS devices, terminal emulator and quit process are all available with the Pro pack.
Upon initial impression, I would relate this akin to seeing a tree while missing the forest. Stepping back and looking at the big picture, the app is really not that intimidating. The app opens a standard box with the “X, -, and expand arrows” along the top left and a back/forward arrow just beneath the icons. If you move towards the right, you will see the options to choose between a directory, file list, and thumbnail. My favorite mode was the very first one, breaking down the name, extension type, size, modified date and kind. I was not a big fan of the thumbnail view, even though it seemed to resemble the iPad App system a little. Whichever view you choose, you can drag and drop between the panels, open up new tabs and easily change between them. Leave one side in the file extension column and set Dropbox or Google Drive as thumbnails, leave them all the same or make the system personalized. Along the top middle of the app, you will find the hidden folder icon, a get info button, a quick look button and a search icon. If you select a file and choose “get info,” it will bring up a new box with the selected file. You can look at the data specifics to include name of the file, size of the file, type of file, location, create/modify data and a quick preview. If needed, you can also use the binoculars and search for a destination. If desired, you could then Go to the File or Feed to the active panel, which highlights the app on your screen. Having already mounted DropBox and Google Drive and having an Apollo Cloud device mounted, I was able to quickly move files between folders. This functionality was very helpful and honestly should have been what Finder was cable of doing. I commend Eltima for their efforts The last icons along the top will allow you to compress files to archive and the compression manager allows you to mount more drives (similar to CloudMounter).
Along the very bottom of the app, Eltima included a nice function key legend. Press F3 to view a file, F4 to edit, F5 to copy it, F6 to Move it, F7 to open a new folder or to delete a file press F8. The free app will not allow you to change the function keys, but the paid app is supposed to allow this feature. Over the last week that I have used this app, I have not found a reason that I would want to deviate from the preset function keys. I will admit that I may find this statement to be false as I continue to use the app. The overall system did have a Finder-esque feeling but enhanced on the Apple way. I liked the similarities between the App quick look and search features. I have read multiple reviews of this app, and most of them are quite positive. Excitedly, I get to provide a positive review as well. The only potential negative that I found was that Commander One does not allow you to open a single panel. After hearing about this concern, I essentially blew it off as Finder does exactly that feature. This app is listed as a dual-pane manager and provides the ability to move/copy/transfer files from one place to another. It makes sense that you could add more tabs, but removing them eliminates the motive of the app. With two or more panes, you can work with the locations simultaneously and improve the ability to exchange data among your drives. As noted, Eltima will help you to move your data between your local and cloud-based discs. I enjoyed the app, and they did a great job providing free features. The paid features will enhance the overall feel, but for my current needs, Commander One Free and CloudMounter work just fine. I look forward to a continued experience with the app.