Google confirms Android's AirDrop-like Nearby Sharing feature is in beta
We've been hearing about Google's AirDrop-style fast sharing feature for more than a year now, but it looks like the feature may finally be ready to launch soon.
Google has confirmed that its Nearby Share feature is currently rolling out to some users in beta form. In a statement to Android Police , the company said that Nearby Sharing will support Android 6.0 and higher devices as well as "other platforms" and that it will share more information soon.
The good news is that we don't have to wait to learn more about Nearby Sharing. The folks at AP are actually in the beta, which is part of the Play Services beta, and shared some screenshots and info.
With Nearby Sharing, you can beam photos and videos as well as links and other content. When you tap on Nearby Sharing from the share sheet for the first time, you'll be asked to turn on the feature and you can toggle some settings like your device's name and visibility, like if it's available to all your contacts, select contacts, or hidden.
There's also a quick settings toggle for Nearby Share that'll enable your device to be visible to people near you, even if they're not on your contacts list.
Once two phones are visible and close enough to share, the sender can choose the person to push their photo or whatever else to send and the person on the receiving end will get a prompt to either accept or decline the file. The receiver will then get a prompt to open the file in whatever app is appropriate.
AirDrop has been available on iOS and macOS devices for years now and Samsung recently launched its own version called Quick Share , so it's good to see Google's Nearby Sharing feature may finally be ready to launch.
This actually isn't Android's first file sharing feature, with Android Beam launching back in 2011 and letting you share files between phones by touching their backs together. A few years later Google stopped paying much attention to it, though, and it was deprecated in the Android 10 betas. Now it looks like Nearby Sharing could launch soon to replace Beam.