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.”