Google has been working on a file sharing service since July last year. Originally called Fast Share, the Mountain View giant renamed it to ‘Nearby Share’ earlier this year in January. After beta testing over the last couple of months, Google has finally started rolling out its AirDrop-like file sharing service – Nearby Share to Android phones running Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and later.
Once your device gets Nearby Share, you can access the service from your phone’s Quick Settings. A dedicated QS toggle for the feature will appear, which you can switch to conveniently use Nearby Share.
Getting started with Nearby Share is quite simple. The sender chooses the file and decides to share it via Nearby Share through Android’s share sheet. Sender’s device will now look for available devices. Devices with visibility turned on will be listed on the sender’s device. The sender can now tap on the receiver’s avatar to start the transfer.
Keeping the vast userbase in mind, Nearby Share automatically chooses the best protocol available – Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, or peer-to-peer WiFi to share files between two devices.
Privacy-concerned users will be glad to know that Nearby Share supports sending and receiving files anonymously. The feature also provides three privacy settings for device visibility namely All Contacts, Some contacts, or Hidden. In addition, users will have the option to accept or decline an incoming file.
Google has not limited Nearby Share to Android phones. Google says Nearby Share will support Chromebooks in the coming months. The company has already taken steps to bring Nearby Share to Chrome OS, Windows, Mac, and Linux via Google Chrome.
To begin with, Nearby Share will be available on Google’s Pixel lineup and select Samsung devices. The company will roll out the service to more Android phones over the next few weeks.