Apple users are almost certainly familiar with the Airdrop feature, which allows content to be shared between two iPhones that are in close proximity to each other.
Recently, Google announced the rollout of their new ‘Nearby Share’ feature, which seeks to accomplish the same goal in the Android ecosystem.
By the time you read these words, the new service should be available to test out if you own a Google Pixel or a Samsung device running Android 6+.
Anytime you’d like to share a file, link, or picture, all you have to do is tap on the new Android Share icon and choose a nearby recipient. That person will be given the option to either accept or decline the file. If the recipient accepts, the feature will then automatically choose whether to use Bluetooth, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), WebRTC, or peer-to-peer WiFi to actually share the file.
You may, at your option, choose to send or receive files anonymously. In addition, you can adjust your privacy settings so that your device remains hidden to all Nearby Share users. You can make it so that you are only visible to some or all of your contacts, which is fantastic.
The new feature is slated to be rolled out to more Android smartphones in the weeks ahead. Over the next few months, the new capability will also be coming to the Chromebook.
For the time being, if you and someone you know has a Pixel or one of Samsung’s models and you’re running Android 6+, give the new feature a try. For many people, we suspect it will become an indispensable method of sharing information with those in close physical proximity. Kudos to Google for taking steps to catch the Android ecosystem up with Apple’s.