How to Enable and Use Nearby Share on Android

After years of pestering, Google has finally brought an Airdrop alternative on Android. The feature is called Nearby Share and it will be available on devices running Android 6 (Marshmallow) and above. The feature utilizes Google Play Services to seamlessly connect to nearby devices which is awesome as there will be no tiresome tethering process. That said, the sought-after feature has not been widely rolled out as it requires a server-side update from Google’s end. In this article, we are going to show you how to enable and use Nearby Share on Android devices. So with that in mind, let’s now go through the tutorial without any delay.

Enable and Use Nearby Share on Android

Since Google has officially launched Nearby Share on Android, you don’t need to enroll in Google Play Services Beta or tweak other settings to get the feature. All you have to do is wait for Google to turn on the switch from its server-side to enable Nearby Share on your device. Here is how you can find out if Nearby Share is enabled on your device.

Note: The feature will roll out to all smartphones running Android 6 (Marshmallow) and above. Keep in mind, you need to turn on Bluetooth, WiFi, and Location Services to use Nearby Share. 

1. First of all, to find Nearby Share availability on your Android device, pull down the quick settings panel and tap on the edit icon.

2. Now, scroll down and check if Nearby Share tile is available there. If so, it means that the feature has been enabled on your device. Now, drag it to the quick settings panel.

3. Alternatively, you can open Settings -> Google -> Device Connections. If the feature is enabled on your device then Nearby Share will appear here. Also, you can check under Settings -> Bluetooth and Device Connection.

4. Now that you have confirmed the feature availability, you are good to go. Simply tap on the Nearby Share tile in the Quick Settings panel and a setup wizard will open up. Here, tap on “Turn on“.

5. Nearby Share will now show all the nearby devices that have got this feature. You can tap on a nearby contact and send a file just like that.

Note: If it’s not showing any nearby device then worry not, move to the next step. You can send files through the sharesheet menu which I have mentioned below.

6. If you want to customize Nearby Share then tap on your profile icon at the top-right corner. Here, you can select your device visibility by choosing all or some contacts. Next, you can change your device name and also modify how you want the data transfer to take place. Keep in mind, you can’t share files unless you save the nearby user as your contact.

7. Apart from that, you can transfer files using Nearby Share directly from apps too. Open any app, for instance, the Files app, and select a file. Now, tap on the share button and the share sheet menu will open up. Here, you will find the “Nearby Share” option.

8. Tap on it and then select the nearby device. The receiver will get a prompt. Tap on “Accept” and the file will start getting transferred without a time-consuming tethering process. So that is how you can use the Nearby Share feature on your Android device.

  • My Experience with Nearby Share on Android

In my experience, the pairing process was a bit slow. I don’t know if it was because the receiver device was Mi A1 running Android 9. Apart from that, the transfer speed was low — around 3.7mbps — which is very disappointing. But the most frustrating part about Nearby Share on Android is that the sender device must be connected to a WiFi network (the receiver device can be offline), ruling out seamless sharing while you are on the go.

For your information, I was connected to a 2.4GHz WiFi network. Overall, I would say, Nearby Share on Android is a slow file sharing process and it will require significant improvements before it can compete against AirDrop.

Finally, Nearby Share is Available on Android

So that is how you can enable and use Nearby Share feature on Android. We all know that Google rolls out new features at a glacial pace so Nearby Share is yet to hit even a tiny fraction of Android devices. But then, there is no way out other than to wait.

If you are one of the lucky ones to get the feature early on then go ahead and test Nearby Share on your Android device. Anyway, that is all from us. If you found the article helpful then do comment down below and let us know.

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