Published: Sat, January 25, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Android's Nearby Sharing Feature Showcased in Video, Similar to Apple’s AirDrop

Android's Nearby Sharing Feature Showcased in Video, Similar to Apple’s AirDrop

Earlier this month, Google's now in development competitor to Apple's AirDrop was detailed by XDA, shown to be called Nearby Sharing and scheduled for what we hope is release a little later this year.

A newly published video demonstrates Google's unreleased "Nearby Sharing" feature, something that used to be called Fast Share before being renamed. If youve ever used AirDrop or Huawei Share, it works the exact same way.

XDA believe that it will work on any device which has Google Play services pre-installed although they can not be sure of this. It would allow Android users to share files using a faster way than what you'll get through a traditional Bluetooth connection.

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The feature is (un) officially called “Nearby Sharing” and works with the same components as AirDrop: It requires Bluetooth and Location to handshake with the devices and Wi-Fi to complete the data transfer.

In the video, it can be seen that one file transfer fails which clearly shows that the feature still has some glitches which have to be rectified. There also doesn't seem to be a way to limit a device's visibility, meaning someone nearby could send you files, perhaps malicious, using the feature. You'll also have the ability to turn the feature on and off via a quick toggle in the notification shade, which is a very handy addition. Google has not announced any official release date for Nearby Sharing, but as the demo of the service has surfaced, we're expecting Google to release it soon.

With the possibility of the Android ecosystem fragmenting file sharing it is no surprise to see Google working on a one size fits all solution that will hopefully be baked into Android. The ability to share files without an internet connection is nice, and the ability to share hundreds of photos - or even a number of large video files - in just a few seconds time is an absolute game-changer. That's probably a bug for now as Google is yet to release the feature to the public. We hope it arrives at Google I/O or before.

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