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Google Finally Rolls Out Its Version Of Apple’s Airdrop, Nearby Share

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Google is finally releasing a similar version of Apple’s Airdrop called Nearby Share. The feature, which has been in the beta test stage will finally replace Android Beam which it stopped supporting in early 2019.


Google had removed the Android previous local file sharing feature after it launched Android 10. Its replacement, Nearby Share enables Android devices to quickly share files and photos without needing to use dedicated apps like Google Drive or messaging apps like WhatsApp, quite similar to how Apple’s AirDrop functions.


Google had previously said that it would prefer to launch the feature with support for Android 6+ devices and above. With it, users can select a device in their vicinity to send files and other items. The user of the receiving device can then choose to accept or decline to receive the files.

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If the owner of the receiving device accepts, Nearby Share will automatically select the best protocol for transferring the data. Nearby Share will have support for Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, and even direct peer-to-peer wifi.


This implies that even without access to a cellular connection or a WiFi network, the Nearby Share feature can still find a way to send the file.


Nearby Share will have three visibility settings: All Contacts, Some Contacts, and Hidden. Users have to set the function to visible on their phones via a Quick Settings tile. Then, before they can receive content, they must manually accept the file.


The feature also allows users to send and receive files anonymously, meaning they can choose to share a file without revealing their personal info like a phone number or email address.


Google says the feature will also come to Chromebooks in the coming months while it is already rolling out on some Pixel and Samsung devices.


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