Google announced that it’s releasing Nearby Share, an AirDrop competitor for Android. Nearby Share does precisely what its name implies; it allows Android owners to share files directly to nearby phones without using an email, text message, or similar third-party service as a conduit.
- Nearby Share lets one Android user share a picture, file, link, and more to a nearby Android phone.
- Files can even be sent and received anonymously.
- Users also can make themselves invisible if they do not want to receive a file from other Android users.
Nearby Share is as simple to use as AirDrop. Users only need to select the file to share and choose Nearby Share. The phone will then scan for nearby devices. Once found, the user can then pick a nearby device to which they want to share. The files are shared directly with the target device without uploading them to the cloud or sending them via an email.
Right now, Nearby Share is limited to select Android 6.0+ devices, including all Google Pixel phones and Samsung phones. It will be rolled out to those Android devices starting today.
Those with other Android devices will only have to wait a few weeks for the feature to land on their phones. Eventually, Google hopes to mimic Apple’s ecosystem by porting Nearby Share to Chromebooks. This support for Chromebooks, though, is a few months away.
Google is way behind Apple with this feature. Apple released AirDrop in 2011, and it has been an integral part of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS over the past several years.
The feature makes it easy to share files, photos, links, and more between devices. You can select any device that has enabled AirDrop and even has a directional feature in the iPhone 11 that lets you point your phone to find specific, nearby devices.