Google’s version of Apple’s Airdrop, called Nearby Share, started rolling to a select few Android users earlier this week. It has disappeared for some but it seems to be enabled and working fine for others. The company has also started rolling out Nearby Share to Chromebooks but what’s most surprising is that the Chrome browser on Windows PCs now also brings support for Nearby Share feature.
First spotted by the folks at TechDows, Google Chrome now includes a new #nearby-sharing flag that you can enable to quickly share files between your Android phone and PC. There are a couple of requirements that you need to fulfill to make this file-sharing feature work. You need to have a Bluetooth-enabled Windows PC and supported Android phone or Chrome OS laptop/ tablet.
This Chrome flag is found in the stable build, but enabling it does nothing. When you navigate to chrome://nearby to access this feature, the URL does not load up. At least that was the case with me. You will need to download the Chrome Dev or Canary build to enable this feature. The steps to enable the Nearby Share feature in Chrome browser on your Windows PC are listed right here:
How to Enable Android’s Nearby Share on Windows PC
2. Now, head to chrome://flags and type ‘Nearby Share’ in the search bar up top. You need to enable the #nearby-sharing flag from the drop-down menu, as shown below.
3. Relaunch your Chrome browser and navigate to chrome://nearby to see the UI for this file-sharing feature.
Currently, Google only seems to offer a placeholder UI as the file name, device names remain unchanged for everyone who has tested the feature on their Windows PC. The buttons (Next and Cancel) at the bottom are active but do not function. So, it appears like the company has started work on implementing Nearby Share in Chrome but it’s not functional right now. I tested it out both on Chrome Dev and Canary builds on 2 different Windows PCs.
We will keep you posted on the development of the Nearby Share feature in Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux. If the transfer speeds are good, then it could turn out to be a good alternative to current apps like Snapdrop or Xender. We will also do a file-sharing test and share our experiences with you in the near future, so stay tuned for more information.
Featured Image Courtesy: 9to5Google