Google has officially launched the new Nearby Share feature for Android. This is a similar solution in functionality with AirDrop on Apple devices, allowing the transfer of messages, files, content or links between compatible devices without the internet. This capability is now starting to appear on Pixel and Samsung devices and will be extended to many other models in the near future. But Google promises to bring it to other platforms, other than Android.
Nearby Share replaces the old Android Beam, Wi-Fi Direct and other weak solutions of the past
With Nearby Share, you no longer have to use complicated menus for features like Wi-Fi Direct. In fact, Wi-Fi is not even required to send files through the new feature. However, it is necessary to have Bluetooth enabled and location services and to be very close to the one to whom you want to send files. Google recommends a distance of 30 cm between devices so that they are visible to each other.
The initial discovery connection is made via Bluetooth LE, while the transfer can be done first through several protocols, which are used automatically according to needs. If it is something very small and fast to transfer, it can also be done via Bluetooth. If it is a Link it can be done via WebRTC or even NFC, while large files can be transferred via WiFi.
And Google says it has taken user security into account, with privacy settings available. You can control who can see your device and from whom you can receive it. For example, you can limit the function to contacts in your phonebook only.
The Nearby Share feature is compatible with the Android operating system, from version 6.0 to the present, so Google will most likely launch this capability for all users in the near future. If you already have the update installed, Nearby Share appears as soon as you click the “share” button in an app and already lists the compatible devices of nearby friends.
Google will extend the feature to Chrome OS as well
Chrome OS is already a kind of “Android” desktop, being compatible with applications in the Play Store. Thus, the news that PCs with this operating system will receive Nearby Share is not exactly surprising. This will allow you to make quick transfers between your computer and your phone or tablet, as Apple AirDrop offers between your iPhone, Mac and iPad.
Juana loves to cover the tech and gaming industry, she always stays on the first row of CES conference and reports live from there.