Latest in Gear

Image credit: Chris Velazco/Engadget

Android will have an equivalent to Apple's AirDrop file sharing

Fast Share would effectively replace Android Beam.
510 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Chris Velazco/Engadget

Ask iPhone users about the creature comforts they like and there's a good chance they'll mention AirDrop -- it's an easy way to share a photo with a nearby Apple device owner. Android users should soon have an equivalent, though. The 9to5Google team has managed to enable an upcoming Fast Share feature on Android that, like AirDrop, would use a combination of Bluetooth and WiFi to send files and even text snippets to nearby people. Turn it on and you can see nearby Fast Share-enabled devices, with transfers taking just a couple of taps (including a confirmation from the recipient).

There are a few key differences. It doesn't appear that you can limit transfers to your contacts, but you can specify "Preferred Visibility" so that favorites see you even when you're not using Fast Share. The sample recipients in the Fast Share screen suggest this might be available on Chromebooks, iOS devices and even Wear OS smartwatches, although we wouldn't count on all of those being available whenever the feature goes public. An iOS version would require a special app.

It's not certain when Fast Share will launch, although it's a Google Play Services feature and likely wouldn't require Android Q. Google might not wait long, though. The company has warned that it's deprecating NFC-based Android Beam transfers in Q. As such, Fast Share could be the only way to quickly send files to local users without resorting to apps (like Files by Google) that your friends won't necessarily have.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
510 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Amazon discounts the Echo Show 8 by $30 before it's available

Amazon discounts the Echo Show 8 by $30 before it's available

View
Twitch makes it easier for first-time streamers to get started

Twitch makes it easier for first-time streamers to get started

View
UEFA Champions League is coming to CBS All Access in 2021

UEFA Champions League is coming to CBS All Access in 2021

View
'Minecraft Earth' early access arrives in the US

'Minecraft Earth' early access arrives in the US

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr