Google renames AirDrop-like quick sharing feature as Nearby Sharing

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.

Google renames AirDrop-like quick sharing feature as Nearby Sharing

(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 renames AirDrop-like quick sharing feature as Nearby Sharing

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.

Google renames AirDrop-like quick sharing feature as Nearby Sharing

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.