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MTP Mount Support Heading to Chrome OS

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Mount your phones like a USB Drive

MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) support, used to access and transfers files stored on Android and other smartphones, is coming to Chrome OS.

Currently targeted for Chrome OS 36 (though likely to slip to 37) due in June, the change will allow users to connect Android smartphones and tablets, and possibly even iPads and iPhones, to a Chromebook to manage files, photos and other data.

The plan is that, when hooking up a supported device, the Chrome file manager will detect and mount it like a regular USB thumb drive or SD card. This will allow its contents to be browsed, opened and edited in applications, and allow files to be transferred from the device to Chrome OS and vice versa.

The feature is not yet finished or complete and is not expected to be enabled by default until later this spring. Chrome OS Canary and Dev channel users can flip the –enable-filemanager-mtp flag on to try support as it currently exists.

Adding support for MTP is one of several changes targeted at the Files.app. Developers have already separated the video, audio and gallery apps from the file manager code, while support for enabling third-party filesystems, such as cloud storage services, too hook in is under active development.

  • Mike

    This is great but what I really want is file sharing to and from a windows PC . I would like to send files from my windows PC to my Chromebook and files from my Chromebook to my windows PC.

    • http://drgeorge.org/ ricegf

      I use Drive, which is ubiquitous, but you also have the option of using a USB disk or flash cards if you want to keep your files off the net. More advanced users also have sftp.

      If you really need to link the two machines via a dedicated cable and transfer files directly outside the network, could you clarify why? Not questioning your need, just wanting to understand it.

      • Mike

        Sure , I would just like to be able to view my huge movie library on my windows PC and be able to grab a 1-2gig movie and transfer to my Chromebook somtimes I just like to be able to send files to my windows PC for backups its like my media server not that I have to it would just be nice

        • Aaron

          For something like a movie library, I plan on having an external hard drive that has my library on it. Whenever I want to watch a few movies without the drive, I’ll just copy the files. That’s my plan.

        • Denis Spahic

          You do realize that Google drive offers an immense amount of storage, right?

          Either way, CBs were not intended for movie watching, although you can do it, why would you on a 200nit screen (unless its a Pixel, then I understand).

          Netfilx… good option too.

          • calden74

            I also use my Google Drive. It’s a great way to share movies between family and friends, collectively we now have over 1200 films. It’s pretty easy to just navigate to each others Gdrive shared folders and just stream through the web interface, surprisingly 1080P films work perfectly this way. The easiest way to transfer files back and forth is to install the Google Drive desktop app. You can also just install a small Debian chroot to mount your Windows machine through.

    • Rickey Shortt

      Until a better option comes along, you might try this as long as both devices are on the same network. It has worked pretty good the few times I’ve used it and is very similar to Airdroid, except no apps required, only a web page: https://www.sharedrop.io/

      • http://drgeorge.org/ ricegf

        That’s pretty sweet!

    • Sean Lumly

      It’s surprising that moving files over a local network is still such a complex problem. Sure you can do it with [S]FTP, but the setting up a server is needlessly complex, and coordinating client software is well outside of the realm of the casual user. You can also move data via cloud services (eg. Google Drive/Box/Dropbox/Mega/etc), but for large files, this is a waste of costly bandwidth and introduces needless latencies.

      Hopefully someone solves this problem soon.

    • Kenny Strawn

      Use the “Sneakernet” tactic. Plug a USB drive into a Windows PC, copy files to it, then plug the same USB drive into a Chromebook…

  • Kenny Strawn

    Tested with my iPhone 4S on Canary (5818.0.0/36.0.1971.2). No such luck… yet.

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    I don’t own a Chromebook, but it seems weird to me it’s not already part of the OS since almost every Android phone uses this.

  • June

    Awesome! I love this OS more everyday.

    I picked up a c710 refurb for $160 a month ago and it has quickly become my favorite tech purchase ever. I thought that I was getting a cheap Linux laptop and I never intended to use the Chrome OS at all.

    I read a lot of blogs everyday.When I come here and find out that I’m getting even more features for free, well, it just makes me smile.

    Best money that I ever spent.

  • Kenny Strawn

    Working on 36 Canary… behind a flag, that is.

  • Fred .

    Can I run this Files.app on Linux distributions, not Chrome OS?

  • http://www.live-craft.com/ Jonathan Alfonso

    Patiently waiting for this to hit Beta…

    • Danny McVey

      I was able to do this just a few days ago in Beta…

      • http://www.live-craft.com/ Jonathan Alfonso

        On the Samsung Chromebook (ARM)?

        • Danny McVey

          Negative. Acer C720

          • oldman_60

            Not yet for Acer C7 beta

          • http://www.live-craft.com/ Jonathan Alfonso

            Still not here on Beta for the ARM Chromebooks.

  • https://plus.google.com/+JoseLuisBarajas916/ jose Luis barajas

    Still waiting….

    • David Li

      Only 1 more version from current Stable

  • https://plus.google.com/+JoseLuisBarajas916/ jose Luis barajas

    well i can only backup my photos. i still cant view my other files and folders

  • Pete

    Any idea wen this is coming intop effect? just so I can backup my phone photos and vidos onto an external harddrive

  • https://plus.google.com/+JoseLuisBarajas916/ jose Luis barajas

    still waiting.