Our last update about Android’s Nearby Sharing feature mentioned that non-Android devices may get the file-sharing feature soon. Nearby Sharing has been a regular subject here. It’s an important feature from Android that most of us have been waiting for since forever. It’s the Android version of Apple’s AirDrop. The file-sharing feature is needed because it allows the sharing of files between Android-powered devices. It’s not limited to smartphones. As long as there is Nearby Sharing, files can be shared across Android phones, tablets, or even Chromebooks.
The feature will be ready from Play Services beta. Note that this is only the beta version so there may still be bugs. The beta testing phase will help Android in determining bugs and issues.
We’re not sure what exact devices can now run Nearby Sharing. If you happen to have it, don’t be surprised if it appears different on another device. It will depend on the content you share.
Nearby Share isn’t just available on Android 11. It’s also ready on Android 10 on Pixel phones. At the moment, we know it works on sharing content like videos, photos, URLs, and even Tweets.
You have to enable the feature before you can use it. Configure the device name and device visibility. Once set, it will begin searching for other nearby devices. Visibility settings can be All Contacts, Some Contacts, and Hidden. It can be assumed it’s for safety and security purposes.
Nearby Share will then send a notification to nearby devices that content is available to be received. The sender will also then be notified that the other phone is ready to receive. Nearby Share is still in limited testing via the Play Services beta. Google said, “We’re currently conducting a beta test of a new Nearby Share feature that we plan to share more information on in the future. Our goal is to launch the feature with support for Android 6+ devices as well as other platforms.”