AirDrop is a fairly efficient, fast sharing solution in Apple’s iOS and macOS ecosystems. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of official sharing solutions from Google in the Android ecosystem. Users can either use a sharing scheme with a branded smartphone manufacturer or through a third-party app. In June 2019, Google was discovered to be developing its own fast-sharing solution. Now, however, it has renamed the service Nearby Share.
(Instagram via XDA-Developers)
Previously, Google had an NFC-based Android Beam feature, but it was completely deprecated in Android 10/Q. To fill the gap, OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi jointly announced a cross-device file transfer solution.
Nearby Share (also known as Quick Share) uses Bluetooth to initiate a handshake and then transfer files over Wi-Fi. It transfers larger files faster than Android Beam.
Google hasn’t officially announced the feature yet, but behind the scenes has been quietly developing it for a long time. Its position in the Settings menu has been modified since it was first exposed in September 2019.
In November 2019, Mishaal discovered a new icon and user interface (UI). Now, Google has renamed Quick Share as Nearby Share in Google Play service v20.1.03.
Interestingly, according to the text description at the bottom, the two devices must be placed within 1 foot to successfully initiate the sharing.
It’s unclear when Google will officially release the “Nearby Sharing” feature, but believes it shouldn’t have to wait too long.