When we started seeing the Nearby Sharing on Android devices even though ti was still in the beta testing phase, it was an exciting development in the sharing powers of our smartphones. Apple device owners have long been lording over us their AirDrop capacities but soon we would also have something similar. So news that some users saw the feature disappearing on their devices caused slight panic for Android users. However, now it seems to be back with a slight vengeance.
Nearby Sharing, from the name itself, is a way for you to share files to a nearby Android device without having to use Bluetooth or any other extra wire or device. It appeared on selected devices that were on a beta version of Google Play Services and the beta testing phase was not that wide. But still, it meant that Google will be pushing this feature later this year and for those who needed a quick share option, it was something to look forward to.
So cue the semi-panic when Android Police reported that some users were saying that Nearby Sharing disappeared from their devices without any warning. The nearby button in the share sheet was nowhere to be found and the only evidence that it existed was a Quick Settings tile if you previously added it to your tiles. But even tapping that tile did nothing. Did this mean that Google decided to not just push through with the feature?
Hours later, the good news from 9 to 5 Google was that it came back to the Android devices that previously had it. Even better news? The beta testing seems to have arrived on more devices. This probably means the limited beta testing went well, they had to adjust something that’s why it disappeared, and now they’re ready to do even more testing before rolling out a stable version.
Well of course all this is still speculation as we don’t have official word from Google yet about Nearby Sharing. Maybe this will be part of the Android 11 launch later this year or a major update to devices sometime soon.