29th May 2023

Google’s “AirDrop” is finally available on most Android smartphones

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When a manufacturer of a smartphone or software for it announces some new convenient function, everyone immediately thinks that it will be available only for the elite, that is, for the owners of the latest version. So it happened with Google’s new Quick Share feature. Many were confident that the new Nearby Share feature would only be available to those who could afford an Android 11 phone, but Google went the other way and the new feature will work even on devices that haven’t received an update in years. The best part is that you don’t have to do anything complicated to get it.

Sharing files is now much easier.

Nearby Share by Google

To be honest, as soon as information appeared that Google was preparing a new function, I was delighted and decided that the process of sharing files would become much more convenient. In the end, it was high time to decide something about this. Then the euphoria quickly changed to slight doubt. Suddenly they will not be able, I decided, recalling the cases when new functions were promising, but in fact turned out to be not viable even before the first time they left the developer’s computer.

In the end, it took a little time, I figured out the process and again began to believe in the initiative of Google. Time will tell whether I did it in vain or not, but so far everything looks very good. Most importantly, almost everyone can use it.

Google's "AirDrop" is finally available on most Android smartphones

We’ve been waiting for convenient file sharing for a long time.

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What phones will Nearby Share work on

Many of us expected Nearby Share to be available only in Android 11, but this is not the case. Instead, the company decided that anyone with Android 6.0 or later is eligible to use Nearby Share. It turns out that smartphones that originally came out with Android 6.0, some of which have not received updates for two or three years, receive a new and in some ways even revolutionary function. Quite simply, given that Android 6.0 came out almost five years ago, this means that most people will have Nearby Share. Nowadays, there are not many devices that were released earlier.

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Considering how long Android smartphones have been receiving updates, the result really looks impressive. Even security updates don’t come out that long.

How to get Nearby Share access

Interestingly, Nearby Share will be part of the Google Play Services update, so you don’t need to fully update the firmware to get it. Moreover, if the process was implemented this way, we simply would not have waited for such a wide distribution of the novelty. Smartphone manufacturers simply wouldn’t bother with it. Largely due to the fact that, giving it only with Android 11, it would be much easier to sell new items. There are technical reasons, too, so it’s especially nice that Google took over.

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Initially, something similar was offered by Apple and they called this feature AirDrop. It is noteworthy that in the case of the Cupertinos, only the owners of the new version of the operating system received the function. True, in the case of Apple, this also applies to smartphones that were released several years before.

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Google's "AirDrop" is finally available on most Android smartphones

You choose who to send and the file “flies away”.

How Nearby Share works

Nearby Share will allow you to share files with people around you. Anyone who has been using Android for a long time can recall using NFC to transfer files between phones. Everything will be much easier here.

Google claims that you can share files, links, images and more with the people around you while maintaining your privacy.

The sharing function will be built into the send menu. A new button appears next to the Copy button below the link or image you want to share. From there, you’ll be able to tweak the options before sending the file to someone. For example, your device name and device visibility. This way, you can share files with anyone or set up restrictions like a contact list or a specific recipient.

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The recipient will receive a notification, and he will be able to accept or reject the file. Nearby Share also automatically uses the best protocol for the situation. It could be Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, or even Wi-Fi. This way, you can quickly and conveniently share files even when you don’t have an Internet connection. And you just don’t have to download it somewhere, and the recipient download it. If you are nearby, then you will bypass the extra links in the transmission chain.

Google's "AirDrop" is finally available on most Android smartphones

It will be possible to exchange without intermediaries.

How to Transfer Files from Android to Computer or iPhone

Nearby Share works with other Android devices, of course, but Google has built it into Chrome as well. And if Chrome is available on just about every platform, that means it will work with everything. This includes Chromebooks, Windows, macOS, and Linux. It may not work with the iPhone yet, but Google is probably working on it and will give us a really versatile tool.

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If something does not suit you in the work of Nearby Share and you would like to change something, please express yourself in our Telegram chat.

That alone makes Nearby Share a lot more impressive than AirDrop as it’s available on non-Google devices. AirDrop is only available on Apple devices such as iPad, iPhone and Mac.

You should already see Nearby Share on your device (just click the Share button on the link or something else). If not yet, check for updates to Google services. If everything is fine with them, then just wait a little. The account goes not even for weeks, but for days or hours.

Vicky O. Torres

My name is Vicky O. Torres. I am a psychologist by profession, and I love my work very much. And in general, I am an active seeker of truth, silence and beauty of the world.

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