Google officially announces Nearby Share, Android’s AirDrop competitor

The feature uses Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or NFC to share info between devices

After years of development (and rumours), Google has officially announced its nearby file-sharing technology for Android and Chromebooks called ‘Nearby Share.’

In practice, the feature works very similarly to Apple’s ‘AirDrop.’ This means that you can select a file, like a photo, for example, and push it quickly to other nearby Android phones or Chromebooks.

Google even says that the feature works offline since it uses a couple of different wireless protocols to beam the files between phones. When you choose to send a file, your phone automatically picks between Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to provide the fastest transfer, depending on your situation.

Starting now, the feature is rolling out to Pixel and Samsung smartphones, but Google says all Android devices running Android 6.0 and above should get the feature in the future.

The Chromebook rollout is still a few months away, but it’s reassuring to know that the feature is coming in the future. Interestingly, in the video above,  Google mentions that the feature is coming to “other platforms” in the future, instead of specifically mentioning Chromebooks. This leads me to believe that it may come to other platforms like Mac and Windows like an earlier leak suggested. However, this is a pretty big leap and hasn’t officially been announced yet.

When people choose to use Nearby Share they have a few options: you can remain visible to all your contacts, only some contacts or remain invisible. The Google Keyword blog post also mentions that users can remain anonymous when they use Nearby Share if they want to.

It’s worth mentioning that users can decline a file that’s sent to them.

You can learn more about the feature and how to use it on Google’s support page.

Source: Google Keyword