Google challenges (again) Apple: launches Nearby Share, the alternative to AirDrop to share photos, videos and documents between Android devices
A new feature is coming to Android devices to share photos, videos and documents with other smartphones nearby. It's Nearby Share, Google's answer to Apple's AirDrop feature, which is now being rolled out only for a selection of Pixel and Samsung smartphones.
Google has let it be known that it is working with manufacturers to be able to extend the feature to other Android-equipped smartphones as well. Nearby Share allows you to quickly send or receive files from a list of nearby devices, relying on different transfer protocols such as Bluetooh or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. To prevent malicious people from sending junk files, users can set device privacy between "hidden," visible to some contacts and visible to all contacts, as well as send files anonymously.
Nearby Share, how it works
The new Nearby Share feature for sharing files will appear as an option in Android's default sharing sheet. Tapping on the double-helix icon will start searching for nearby devices and selecting the desired contact will start the transfer. The recipient will see a sharing notification and can choose to become visible and accept the transfer or not. Once received, the file will automatically open, or in case of a text file the user will be able to copy it.
Nearby Share takes advantage of Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC or WiFi protocols in peer-to-peer mode for file sharing as appropriate. The choice of the best protocol depends on three available options, which the user can select: using the data connection for small files, using Wi-Fi or sharing offline via Bluetooth. Just like AirDrop, the feature offered by Apple, you will be able to choose whether to receive shares only from your contacts saved on your phone, from anyone or to remain in "hidden" mode.
Nearby Share, the smartphones on which it is active
Google has already started the distribution of the new feature on some Pixel and Samsung models, but in the coming weeks it will also be available for other smartphones equipped with Android 6.0 or higher versions. The company also announced that the feature will be extended to Chromebooks starting in the coming months, to share files with Chrome OS devices as well.