Best Android apps for ZIP and RAR files

July 23, 2012
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Thanks to compression, sending a number of files in one go is easy. If you need to send a batch of files, like pictures, documents or song files, to someone, you can kiss the tedious process of waiting goodbye. No more waiting for each item to finish attaching to your e-mail and hoping that each one of them can be successfully downloaded by your recipient. Simply compress your files into a ZIP or a RAR file and you’re good to go.

Sending ZIP and RAR files is one thing, but what about when we receive them on our Android phone or tablet? Do we have to wait until we get home to our desktops? Of course not. Thanks to newer and more powerful apps, our phones can easily unpack ZIP and RAR files to reveal their contents.

What’s even better is that these same apps can also pack several files into one neat ZIP or RAR file. Get any file, whether a music file, a video file, a picture or a document to other people in a snap. For people who need to send and receive files on the go, we’ve put together a list of the best Android apps for ZIP and RAR files.

WinZip

It’s only natural that we start this list with the official WinZip application for Android devices. The app recently landed on Android a few weeks back, but it’s steadily making its way on to users’ phones. You can receive a file and view supported image, text, and web files directly within the WinZip app. You can even open AES128- or AES256-encrypted ZIP files to view sensitive material safely while you’re on the go.

After you’ve unzipped content, you can copy it to the clipboard and paste it into an e-mail or another application. WinZip can automatically unzip and install APK files delivered as ZIP files from the Google Play Store or the Amazon Appstore. WinZip lets you view a variety of formats and lets you open popular file types such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and PDF files in third party apps. Unfortunately, you can only compress files into the ZIP format using WinZip.

Blackmoon File Browser

Like it says on the tin, Blackmoon File Browser is more than just a ZIP and RAR application. It also lets you browse, open, rename, manage, copy and delete files on your phone. This file browser will let you easily do a little housekeeping on your Android device. It’s also able to recognize more than 100 file extensions and has multiple file support.

You can rename your files without having to be confused. Blackmoon File Browser lets you view image thumbnails so you can easily tell your image files apart. That certainly makes it easier to decide which photos you’d like to package into a ZIP file.

If someone sent you a ZIP file, you can also use Blackmoon File Browser to extract ZIP file contents. That’s not all; Blackmoon File Browser also lets you create music playlists using the Send Marked feature and you can create jump points to any file or folder.

Zipper

Here’s another app that will let you easily select multiple files and give you an easier time to tidy up your files. Zipper, developed by Polar Soft, can also copy and move several files and folders. If you’re spring cleaning, you can open, rename, and delete files and folders.

Creating a ZIP file with Zipper is easy, as well. Drag several files into one folder and long press on the folder to bring up a menu. From here, you can choose the ZIP file’s name, whether you want it to have the same name as the files’ original folder or you want to give it a new name.

You can also create split archives using Zipper, which can make sending extremely large files easy. Break down a large file into more manageable sizes so that the recipient can unzip the split archives and enjoy the complete file without having to fear intermittent connection.

Zipper also comes with an image viewer, a text viewer and an SWF (Flash) viewer. You can also manage the files on your phone using Zipper’s FTP and HTTP server.

This app is free and is ad-supported but we think it’s a good compromise for such a powerful app.

Total Commander

With an overwhelming 4.9 rating on the Google Play Store, Total Commander is a total crowd favorite. This Android app is the mobile version of the desktop file manager of the same name.

It shows list of all your installed apps built in and a number of plugins if you want to buff it up. These plugins include an FTP client, WebDAV folder, and LAN access. Total Commander also has root support for its main functions.

Total Commander gets to the chase; if you’re deleting something, it skips the Recycle Bin phase and jumps straight to erasing your data. You can ZIP files up easily, as well as unzip or unrar them whenever you like.

Looking for something? You can use Total Commander’s Search function that works even for text files. If you don’t want to rummage through your image files, Total Commander makes it easy with thumbnails for your pictures. Once you’ve found what you were looking for, you can send files via Bluetooth (OBEX).

Perhaps the best part is that Total Commander is free to download from the Google Play Store.

AndroZip File Manager

Organizing your files on your phone is a little difficult, especially when you’ve only started learning how to navigate it. If you feel frustrated about making mistakes when you try to tidy your phone’s files, then AndroZip File Manager might just be the application for you.

AndroZip File Manager helps you copy, delete, move, search, and organize your files and folders, just like you could on your computer. We haven’t forgotten that this app list is all about apps for ZIP and RAR files. AndroZip File Manager supports ZIP, encrypted ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP and BZIP2 files. It also lets you send files via e-mail.

Don’t worry if you have a larger Android device because AndroZip File Manager has been optimized for both phones and tablets.

The app comes with drag and drop functionality, which means that you can easily organize your files without having to fiddle too much with the app’s tools. You can use this app to backup your applications and install application APK files to your phone. You can also manage phone memory and resources via AndroZip File Manager’s task manager.

For those of you who want to play it safe and install your apps on your SD card, AndroZip File Manager can be installed on your SD card with no problem.

ArchiDroid

ArchiDroid calls itself the easy to use archive manager and based on user reviews, it certainly lives up to its name. ArchiDroid can unpack more than just RAR and ZIP files; it can also unpack TAR, GZIP (gz), BZIP2 (bz2), tar.bz2, tar.gz, and 7ZIP (7z) file archives. You can also unpack encrypted ZIP and RAR password protected files.

Do you have a RAR file that’s been split up into several smaller and lighter archives? No problem, because ArchiDroid supports that, too. Let ArchiDroid have a go at it and it can correctly unzip multi-part archives.

You can also easily create simple and encrypted ZIP archives on your phone. The interface may not be too pretty too look at, but ArchiDroid does its job with no frills to distract users.

If you want an app that’s simple and effective, ArchiDroid might be the the app for you. You can download ArchiDroid from the Google Play Store for free.

Fx File Explorer

The downside of trying to keep your phone tidy is that the screen is too small. You might spend an hour or so squinting at your Android device’s screen as you order, rename, and delete files. Thankfully, there is an app that makes navigating and organizing our phone’s files a breeze.

FX File Explorer, developed by NextApp, Inc. has features likes multiple windows so you can quickly switch between different locations. It’s easy to manage multiple items with File Explorer’s intuitive swipe-to-gesture. Select more than one file by swiping your finger across the file icon, either left to right or right to left. You can also use this swiping gesture to deselect files. You can cut, copy, paste and delete using the clipboard. You can also use the Text File Viewer, Text Editor, Binary (Hex)

Viewer. What kind of file explorer and manager would Fx File Explorer be without a Zip, Tar, GZip, and BZip Archive Extractor and Creator. Fx File Explorer also comes with a RAR Extractor.

Explorer+ File Manager

Here’s another file manager that’s no-frills and easy to navigate. Explorer+ File Manager is a practical, no-nonsense file manager for your Android device. You can browse your device’s files and folders, and if you’ve got root privileges, then you can also browse root and hidden system files available on rooted devices under su privileges.

Of course you can do the standard operations such as cut, copy and paste files to keep your files in order. You can also rename, delete, or make a new folder.

Browsing through files is easy because Explorer+ File Manager can show you the file’s thumbnail, its file name, and size.

Is the font too small for you? Instead of reaching for your glasses or a magnifying glass, you can easily set the font size and row size for file listings. If you need to send something to someone, you can easily ZIP files. Did someone send you a ZIP file? No problem. You can easily decompress, ZIP, GZIP, and RAR files.

ES File Explorer File Manager

Hailed as one of the best tools on the Android market and supporting 23 languages, ES File Explorer File Manager just had to make it on our list. You can multi-select several files to move them around, as well as perform the basic functions of copying, cutting, pasting, deleting, renaming, and sharing.

The app lets you view different file formats for photos, documents and videos, and supports third-party applications like Document To Go to open document files. Viewing APK images is now easier thanks to thumbnails.

Root users can enjoy the root explorer feature which gives users access to the whole file system and date directories as well as to change permissions.

ES File Explorer File Manager also lets you compress your files into a tidy ZIP file and create encrypted (AES 256-bit) ZIP files. Naturally, you can decompress ZIP archives and unpack RAR files, as well.

Get ES File Explorer File Manager free from the Google Play Store today.

ASTRO File Manager / Browser

Developed by Metago, ASTRO File Manager / Browser not only lets you easily select several files you want to combine into one ZIP but it also lets you browse and organize all your files easily. After you’ve extracted the contents of a ZIP or RAR file, you can easily put those files in the right places by dragging and dropping them.

All the functions you’ll ever need are located at the top of the screen in portrait mode or at the left side of the screen in landscape mode. Simply cycle through them to access the functions that you need. If you have a tablet and you haven’t updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, then you’ll be delighted to know that ASTRO File Manager / Browser packs Honeycomb support.

ASTRO File Manager / Browser is free to download from the Google Play Store but is ad-supported. If you like to support the developers and remove the ads, you can purchase ASTRO File Manager / Browser’s pro version.

You’ll no longer have to wait until you get to your desktop to send and receive ZIP and RAR files. You can easily extract them right on your Android device. Does someone need an album of pictures or a number of songs from your device? Simply select the files they want and package them into a ZIP or RAR file using any of the apps on this list. If your favorite ZIP and RAR app did not make it to our list, let us know what it is by leaving a comment below.

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