Currently being deployed on Google Pixel and Samsung smartphones, Nearby Share is finally finalized and was announced by Google this week.
This feature for sharing files between two devices without a wired connection will remain exclusive to certain Samsung smartphones and the Pixel, in the first phase. In the second phase, Android’s response to Apple’s Airdrop should arrive on PC and Mac via the Chrome browser.
Working with Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, and Wi-Fi P2P, this new system allows you to quickly send files (light or heavy) between two devices without cable and without an Internet connection. From now on, transferring a hundred photos between two Android devices will be much faster.
Nearby Share does not depend on an Android update. No need to wait for the release of Android 11. Google will deploy the feature on all smartphones with Google Play Services, which means just about every device on the market starting with Android 6.0.
However, this excludes Huawei smartphones after the Mate 30, without Google services, or Amazon Fire tablets.
As explained above, Google Pixel and Samsung smartphones have exclusivity on Nearby Share. The Play Services update implementing this Nearby Share will first be deployed on these devices before a global deployment.
Google has also confirmed the upcoming arrival of Nearby Share on Chromebooks without saying anything about PCs and Macs. Anyway, it’s good news to finally see this feature coming after years of waiting and after the end of the late Android Beam.