FileKicker 2: Return of the File!

EDIT: As of September 2014, the Kik Messenger app no longer supports the old API, which means it no longer supports FileKicker. Thanks for using it—I wish it were still working but there’s not really anything I can do at this point! You can check out my current project at complice.co.

FileKicker icon: A green arrow overlaid on a white rectangle with *.* on it as in 'any file'.

I wrote a post a few months ago about FileKicker, my first published Android app. I’ve since published another, ContactKicker [no longer available]. In the few months since then, I’ve launched several updates to each app, making the experience much better.

FileKicker, as I originally built it, was a bridge. The purpose of the app is to allow filesharing via Kik for any kinds of files, not just pictures. All I really did at first was connect the OpenIntents File Manager PICK_FILE intent with the Kik Messenger API, and on the other end I would simply launch the browser to open the file. While it was conceptually cool to build an app that didn’t actually have a visual interface, I realized that it wasn’t the best solution. For the first version of FileKicker, I implemented my own file-picker interface so that users do not have to also download OI File Manager. This also made things visually simpler, and improve user experience.

However, user experience was still weak on the receiving end; all FileKicker would do is launch the browser. This was fine for images and text, but it made it really hard to send some other kinds of files. APKs (Android application package files) for example, can normally be downloaded onto an Android phone and then installed, but the installer won’t launch if the file extension isn’t APK. This means users would need another app to browse to the file and rename it, which was altogether a poor experience.

An Android dialog, showing the icon and filename 1B class schedule.pdf, a complete progress bar, and two buttons: "Open file" and "Share url".

FileKicker 2.0 receiving interface

To fix it for FileKicker 2.0, I implemented a download feature as well, using Android’s ASyncTask class. Now, the file is downloaded from within FileKicker, saved with its original name, and then opened with the appropriate app by checking the file extension. Since I did this, usage of the app has grown much faster, and I’m proud to say I have over 500 users and that each day about 50 files are sent using my app.

QR code linking to FileKicker in the Android Market
So, if you’ve got an Android phone, check it out and let me know what you think! If you have any complaints, compliments, feature suggestions, or other comments, comment below.

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About Malcolm

Constantly consciously expanding the boundaries of thoughtspace and actionspace. Creator of Complice, a system for achieving your important goals.

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15 Comments

Damian » 21 Feb 2012 » Reply

To,

Malcolm as a filekicker user and love the app I have alot of people on my contact list who also use iphone and ask me if they can get filekicker. We would like to know if the idea of file kicker for iphone is there or is being made already as we speak. If so could you tell me if it is in alpha or beta and when might we see it out if so. I think a mutil platform would be so could and i think you would get alot of people willing to test and give feedback as the app on android is one of the bedt out there for sending files. i say this because it quick fast and i have yet to have it crash on me. keep up the good work hope to hear from you soon

Most Hopeful,
Damian

Malcolm » 23 Feb 2012 » Reply

Hey Damian!

Thanks for the support. I’d ultimately like to develop filekicker for iOS but I’m super-busy at the moment and I’ve also never done any iOS development so there’d be a fairly steep learning curve to creating it.

I’m also thinking that mediakicker would be boss, for both iOS and Android, but again that’s a big time investment. Do you think you and your contacts would be willing to pay $1 or $2 for mediakicker, especially if it’s cross-platform? I’d like if I could just charge 1¢/message, but there’s no good payment platform for that.

    Zoftly » 29 May 2012 » Reply

    Dear Kik-Team,first of all, thank you for developing this app, it’s a great way to cotmanicume with people from all over the world.Nevertheless, I have a big problem:Kik doesn’t start anymore. When I tap the Kik icon my iPod touch 4G, running iOS 5.0.1, it shows the startup screen for 20 seconds and then just goes back to my homescreen. I live in Germany, if that is of any concern, and my internet connection and WiFi is working perfectly. My App Store doesn’t offer me any updates for Kik.At first I thought it might be because of low memory, so I closed all other apps and even restarted the iPod, but still no luck.I have had this problem before, but in the past it simply vanished after a few hours.Right now, I haven’t been able to connect to your network for at least 7 days I think. With several messages unread, that is really quite annoying.Now my questions:Does the crash protocol that my iPod creates help you in any way?Would it help to delete and then reinstall the app? Will my unread messages be lost in that case?If reinstalled, I guess I just sign in with my nickname and my contacts will still be there, right?I hope that you can help me with my problem, I wouldn’t want to lose the friends I have made using you app and I only have contact to using your app.Hope to hear from you soon.Best regards from Germany,

bitgeek » 3 Jun 2012 » Reply

File Kicker for iPhone would be amazing! I am currently able to send files to my friend on iPhone using File Kicker whilst they’re unable to send files to me. I love the simplicity of the app and how it just works.

Please give us iPhone support!

bigfan » 13 Jul 2012 » Reply

hey malcolm i love the app but im just curious when im sending videos and uploading them where are these files going ? even when i click the file im sharing i am able to download also… so im guessing it isnt phone to phone ? and if so how am i able to then delete the file once the other person has recieved it?

thanks. K

    Malcolm » 14 Jul 2012 » Reply

    Hey K,

    The files get uploaded to Kik’s servers: FileKicker doesn’t actually upload them, Kik does. So you’re right, it’s not phone to phone. Nothing sent over Kik is (it all goes on their servers on the way, though they can’t access any of it). If you want to delete a file, get a file manager like ASTRO. FileKicker just has basic functionality, though I might add deletion later.

    Let me know if you have other questions!

    Malcolm

Suzy » 4 Aug 2012 » Reply

Is there anyway you can download this for iPhone 4s or apps like it for apple?

    Malcolm » 4 Aug 2012 » Reply

    Hey Suzy,

    No, at the moment it’s just for Android, though I’m looking at expanding to iOS as well. I’ll keep you posted.

    Malcolm

      suzy » 4 Aug 2012 » Reply

      you really should expand it to iOS

Doug » 10 Aug 2012 » Reply

Droid razzr and file kicker wont open any videos i iust keep getting error messagw

Steve » 22 Aug 2013 » Reply

I rarely comment on apps because it’s rarely worth my time, but I gotta say this is a handy little gadget. Sometimes you wanna send a song or a video from your SD card or internal phone storage but the file is too big. This app completely solves that problem by putting aside the maximum size limit, and allowing you to send it through Kik Messenger. It was worth my time to leave this comment because certain apps just deserve more exposure and this is definitely one of those apps. Much thanks to the dev.

Mark » 8 Sep 2014 » Reply

Having trouble as of late with the message “no action associated with this content” when trying to open a filekicker file.

xyz » 28 Nov 2014 » Reply

it shows “no action associated with this content”

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