While it’s taken a very long time, Google might finally release its own version of Apple’s Airdrop soon. Called Nearby Sharing, the feature will allow users to quickly send and receive content between devices with the tap of a “Share” button, XDA Developers reports.
Reports have been surfacing for a while now, but in a hands-on video with XDA Developers’ Mishaal Rahman, we get to see it in action.
The feature is demonstrated between a Google Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 4 running Android 10. But, he points out that it’s also been used between a Pixel 2 XL and OnePlus 7T Pro.
So, that means the feature isn’t locked in to Pixel devices. It might be available on any Android device that comes with Google Pixel Services pre-installed on the phone.
Nearby Sharing works similarly to Airdrop. You can choose whether you want your device visible to all your Google contacts, specific ones, or completely hidden—which means you have to manually accept each request beforehand.
You can also decide how your data is used during the transfers which includes using data for transferring small files, Wi-Fi only, or without internet at all. The phone then uses Bluetooth and location services to find compatible nearby devices.
Once you choose the files you want to share, choose the device you want to send it to, and tap Share. In the video, the content is transferred instantaneously. Your files are then saved in a specific “Nearby Sharing” folder.
Rahman also makes sure to point out that devices have to be within one foot of each other. That means you won’t get unsolicited content randomly sent to your phone. Which is unfortunately, very much a thing with AirDrop.
While it’s unclear when Google plans on releasing the feature, the company did recently announce dates for 2020’s Google I/O conference. So, it’s possible we could see Nearby Sharing unveiled soon.
But prior to that, we might see a similar feature from Samsung called Quick Share, according to XDA Developers, that might debut on the upcoming Galaxy S20. As with AirDrop and Nearby Sharing, those with Galaxy devices will be able to quickly transfer files with the press of a “Share” button.