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Nearby Share: This is how Google’s AirDrop alternative for Android phones works

Google’s ‘Nearby Share’ feature is expected to be the alternative to Apple’s AirDrop for Android phones. This is how it works.

Nearby Share: This is how Google’s AirDrop alternative for Android phones works
Google’s Nearby Share could first roll out to Pixel devices. (REUTERS)

Android devices will finally get an AirDrop-like feature soon. Google was recently found working on something called ‘Nearby Share’ which will allow Android users to share files with nearby devices wirelessly. A new video now shows how Google’s Nearby Share works and yes, it’s quite similar to Apple’s AirDrop.

In a video by xdadevelopers, Nearby Share is demonstrated on a Google Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 4. Nearby Share can be toggled from the quick settings menu on top. Here, users can choose their Google account and edit their device name similar to AirDrop. Nearby Share has three options for visibility between all contacts, specific contacts and hidden. Users who choose hidden will have to manually turn on Nearby Share whenever they want to use the feature.

For file sharing, Nearby Share offers three options of data, Wi-Fi and offline mode. Also, Nearby Share uses the phone’s Bluetooth and location to activate the service. In this video it was shown that Google’s Nearby Share will work in a radius of 1 foot. The feature worked fine for photos and multiple of them too. It took more than one try for sending a video through Nearby Share. That’s understandable since the feature is still being tested. The files received through Nearby Share will be saved in a separate folder.


There’s currently no word on when Google will roll out Nearby Share to Android devices. This feature could first arrive for Pixels only. In addition to Google, Samsung is also working on its AirDrop feature called ‘Quick Share’. Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo have also partnered to allow cross-sharing files among its phones. This service is however limited to China for now.

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