Android launches beta of its own AirDrop, Nearby Share

SmartphonesAndroid  w630 - Android launches beta of its own AirDrop, Nearby Share

Long overdue, the Android competitor's beta version of Apple's AirDrop feature, which allows files to be sent and shared wirelessly across multiple devices, has just been released by Google.

For the moment, this Android service, called "Nearby Share", is being tested, limited to users registered in the Play Services beta program.

Nearby Share vs AirDrop

AirDrop, at Apple, allows files to be shared between iOS and macOS devices, on the sole condition that they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network or within the range of the bluetooth connection.

According to XDA Developers, Nearby Share lets you share files using mobile data, Wi-Fi only, or even without the internet. Users can choose to configure Nearby Share to make the device visible to all contacts, certain contacts, or hidden. Nearby Share requires activation of bluetooth and localization.

The difference with AirDrop is that users will have to share the file through an application that supports it. For example, if the user shares a tweet, the recipient will be offered to open it in their own Twitter application. For a photo, the recipient must open their Photos application.

Compatible with Android 6 (and later) and "other platforms"

The fact that it is deployed through Play Services means that Nearby Share should be supported by most Android devices.

Google has told Android Police that the feature is being rolled out in a limited beta, but that it should be compatible with all devices running Android 6 or newer. Google also hopes to support "other platforms". If that means Windows 10, Nearby Share will gain points against AirDrop.

“We are currently launching a beta version of a new feature, Nearby Share, which we will be communicating soon. Our goal is for this feature to be supported on all devices from Android 6 as well as on other platforms, "said Google.

A leak already announced this feature

Google has been working on Nearby Share for quite some time. At the start of the year, some leaks had occurred, revealing certain details, as CNET had reported at the time.

As revealed by this leak, Nearby Share has a quick setting on the devices that have it. By tapping on it, the device becomes visible to other users of the functionality, allowing direct sharing of content.


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