Latest in Gear

Image credit: Google

Google finally launches Nearby Share to rival Apple's AirDrop

It'll even work with Chromebooks soon.
Cherlynn Low, @cherlynnlow
August 4, 2020
350 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Google Android Nearby Share
Google

After months of leaks and rumors, Google is finally officially unveiling its tool called Nearby Share that’s basically Android’s version of Apple’s AirDrop sharing feature. It’s rolling out today to select Pixel and Samsung phones, with Google saying it’s continuing to “work with our partners to bring Nearby Share to more smartphones in the Android ecosystem over the next few weeks.”

Nearby Share will let you quickly send and receive files with the people around you and uses a mix of protocols. It’ll show you a list of devices near you, and once you select your recipient, they’ll get an alert to accept or decline your file. The system will then pick the best protocol for the transfer — whether it’s Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC or peer-to-peer WiFi” which means you can share files even when you’re technically offline.

One of the concerns around a nearby sharing feature is that it opens you up to being sent random garbage from pranksters in the area. Nearby Share has privacy settings that should prevent that by letting you choose from staying “hidden,” visible to “some contacts” or to “all contacts.” You can also share files anonymously if you wish, saving you the need for exchanging identifying contact information if you prefer not to.

Google Android Nearby Share Chromebook
Google

Nearby Share will also work with Chromebooks in the coming months and enable easy transfers between your laptop and smartphone. A version of Nearby Share has existed for Android devices for years — whether it’s through the recently retired Beam feature (which worked via NFC) or through Google’s Files Go app. But this new iteration looks better integrated into the OS. When you pull up the Sharing menu for a photo, for example, you’ll have a prominent option for Nearby Share right below the thumbnail instead of having to scroll through various app options to find it. It took Google awhile, but it’s nice to finally see this long-awaited feature roll out. Now we just have to see how long it will take for the whole Android ecosystem to get Nearby Share.

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
350 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The Morning After: Amazon's new security camera is also an in-home drone

The Morning After: Amazon's new security camera is also an in-home drone

View
GameStop will have more $499 PS5s available to pre-order on Friday

GameStop will have more $499 PS5s available to pre-order on Friday

View
Ring made a security drone that flies around inside your home

Ring made a security drone that flies around inside your home

View
Here's everything Amazon announced at its big hardware event

Here's everything Amazon announced at its big hardware event

View
Someone bought the new Chromecast and told Reddit all about it

Someone bought the new Chromecast and told Reddit all about it

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr