Google has officially announced a week ago the launch of a new feature for Android called Nearby Share, which mimics Apple’s AirDrop and a means for a snappy data transfer between two devices with or without depending on internet.

Essentially a successor to the Bluetooth-dependent, Android Beam, the Nearby Share features a faster transfer of data via WiFi Direct, in addition to a slew of alternative technology, namely WebRTC, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Bluetooth.

Similar to the Apple-made technology that has been around since 2011, Nearby Share also taps on the peer-to-peer WiFi connection, ensuring a robust and seamless connectivity between two devices.

Still a subpar comparison to AirDrop that has cross-compatibility among all of Apple’s gadget products, Google’s rendition of the same feature, however, is currently only capable of sharing files between Android smartphones. 


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The Nearby Share is still a developing product in its early launch. However, it is promised to feature a similar extent in compatibility in future update—even extending to other platforms, namely Windows and Linux.

How to use Nearby Share on Android

Previously a feature that requires a beta testing, the Nearby Share capability should now be accessible to users without going through the registration process. To see if your device has the new feature enabled by default, do the following:

Step 1: Go to Settings, then Google.

Step 2: Tap Device connections.

Step 3: You should see “Nearby Share” in the option and turn it on, should you already have it. If not, you won’t be able to try it out right now.

Step 4: Once enabled, test the feature by choosing to transfer a file, like an image, by tapping on the share icon after highlighting and, then, opting to do so via Nearby Share.

Step 5: The device will then search the environment for the recipient that you can choose to send the file to. 

Step 6: Once it came across a potential recipient, click on that device to kickstart a data transfer.

Step 7: If the recipient chose to accept the transaction, the data transfer will initiate. Depending on file size and the measure used, transfer time would vary. 

Step 8: Do note that the feature requires a Google account logged in the Google Play to employ it. Consequently, this meant that the two devices doing a data transfer need to have the feature enabled in them.

While Google Pixel and Samsung phones are already enjoying the feature at launch, there’s no information yet on when other devices will get it. However, users can try to force-update Google Play Service with the hope of having it, although the result might likely differ depending on the device. 

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