Google Launches Nearby Share on Android

Posted on August 4, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile, Chromebook, Android, Chrome OS with 13 Comments

Google announced today that it is launching a new feature called Nearby Share on select Pixel and Samsung devices. It will come to more Android devices over the next few weeks, the firm says, and to Chrome OS in the coming months.

And yes, if you’re familiar with Apple’s AirDrop, it’s like that except for Android and Chrome OS.

“The Android community has long asked for a way to quickly share content with each other from their devices,” Google’s Daniel Marcos Schwaycer writes in the announcement post. “So after years of development, Android is launching Nearby Share, a platform to enable reliable and easy sharing across thousands of Android phone models and billions of people.”

Here’s how it works. When you want to share something with a friend or someone else nearby, you can simply access Nearby Share from the Share menu. You’ll see a list of nearby devices, and when you select one, Nearby Share will utilize the best possible transit method, like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. And yes, this will work when you’re offline as well.

“Nearby Share was built with privacy at its core, so you can share and receive files with peace of mind,” Schwaycer says. “Now you don’t have to worry about exchanging contact information, because Nearby Share allows you to both send and receive files anonymously. It also allows you to adjust your privacy settings from your phone’s Quick Settings at any time. You can be hidden, visible to some contacts, or visible to all contacts, so you never receive files that you didn’t ask for.”

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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Google Launches Nearby Share on Android”

  1. ngc224

    Microsoft’s “Squirting” lives!

  2. JH_Radio

    Wouldn't it be great if iOS and android could unify this?

    Yeah, I'll keep dreaming. Apple would never be ok with this idea. Then again they did work on an API for COVID, so who knows.

  3. drmdub

    Honestly this is where iOS kicks Androids butt. Air Drop works on all iOS devices, even those like 6 or 7 years old. Google's only works on "select Pixel and Samsung devices." And while this is better than nothing, of course, until Google can bring features to phones that aren't so limited in number, it's going to be inferior in huge ways to iOS. Surely there's a way to do this via an app that isn't hardware dependent?

  4. retcable

    Yeah, now everyone except Pixel and "certain" Samsung device users will have to wait until the other manufacturers "test" this new function and decide how to modify it, vary its functionality depending on which device a user might have, and customize its look and feel differently for every single model they make, and then wait for the carriers to "test" the new function, customize and tailor it to their specific brand with different capabilities, look and feel, depending on which device you buy, and then after all this, a few years from now, in a future version of Android OS that only brand new devices can upgrade to, will it be "available" to the public. This is the Android nightmare in a nutshell.

  5. SvenJ

    I recall doing this with NFC some time back. Say you want to share something, tap the back of your phone to another with NFC and they got a pop up to confirm acceptance. Don't recall how widespread it was.