The world’s most popular compressed file format doesn’t play all that nicely with smartphones. Try and open a Zip file on iOS or Android and you’re likely see a polite error message or worse. But all it takes is a well-chosen third-party app or two to ease the Zip pain, and we’ve picked out a handful of the options worth considering.
If you’re of a certain age then WinZip (iOS, Android) is going to be the first name that comes to mind when there’s some unzipping to do. The apps are fairly straightforward, but you do have to spend some cash if you want no ads and advanced features (like Dropbox integration).
Once WinZip is installed, it will spring into action whenever you try and open a compatible compressed file. You can browse through zipped up files and folders with ease as well as unzip a selection of files to a specified location on your device.
iZip (iOS, Android) has been earning high praise for some time, and while it might lack some of the polish of WinZip, it’s nevertheless a very capable app for opening up compressed files. Like WinZip, you can create new archives as well as open existing ones.
Again, you can open up and view files with a tap of the screen (common file types can be viewed from within the app) and again you can pay an in-app fee if you want to integrate iZip with third-party cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
The viewing and unzipping process is similar across the majority of the apps you’ll find in app stores, but some others that caught our eye were the long-standing AndroZip from AVG (Android) and the straightforward Zip-Rar Tool (iOS) which supports a bunch of different compressed archive formats.
If you’re an Android user, then you can install a file manager to get basic Zip support. Apps like Cabinet, Amaze and many others can at least view the files in an archive even if they can’t do much else with them. For iOS users, it’s worth noting that Mail and Messages come with a certain amount of integrated Zip support already.
This article originally appeared on Field Guide, Gizmodo's blog on how to get the best out of your tech