Apple’s Airdrop is one of the easiest methods of sharing large media files or documents. The Android platform used to boast if an NFC-based handshake method called Android Beam, but that was completely abandoned in Android 10. It used NFC to initiate a connection for file transfers, but it used Bluetooth, which was painfully slow. Now, Google is has now released a new Nearby Sharing feature to Beta Testers.
This feature share some similarities with Appleâ€™s Airdrop and is currently rolling out to certain Google Play Beta testers. These testers will now have an option to share files â€œNearbyâ€ in the Android share menu.
How Google’s Nearby Sharing Feature Works
When enabled, this feature will allow you to see Nearby devices (a bit like Bluetooth) and you can then select the visibility levels to your contacts or just toggle this feature off if you do not want it turned on. Android PoliceÂ has shared some screenshots of the feature in action.
If you have the â€œNearby Sharingâ€ feature turned on, you should be able to see when someone is trying to share something nearby, even if you may not appear on the senderâ€™s device. You can click on notifications to become visible to other devices to receive files. This feature works for files like videos, photos and other content like URLs or tweets.
Google has confirmed that it intends to bring this feature to all devices from Android 6 (marshmallow) and up. Although this feature is still only in limited Beta testing, it would be great to see it finally released to end-users as a quicker and more effective means of transferring files and other shareable information among Android devices.