iPhone users can use AirDrop to easily and quickly share files, photos, videos, and links with other nearby iPhones. With AirDrop, you don’t have to send text messages to photos, compressor destroy the overall quality of the photos, and you don’t have to use random links and files to block conversation threads.
Now, Android phones finally get Google’s AirDrop version, called “Nearby Sharing”.
Google announced this new feature in early August, and I have been able to test it on the Pixel 4 XL and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.
It works the same way as AirDrop, but you need to do a few things to start using it yourself. This is what you need to know.
Like the new Android features, Google will slowly introduce the “Nearby Sharing” feature, so it may take some time to display on the phone.
You can follow the instructions below to check whether the function has been added to the device.
Google will first add the “Nearby Sharing” feature to its Pixel and Samsung phones, which will eventually be used in all phones running Android 6.0 and higher.
Google plans to enable “Nearby Sharing” file transfer between Android and Chrome OS, but it is currently limited to sharing between Android phones and tablets.
How to set up nearby sharing on an Android phone or tablet?
Before you can consider nearby sharing as a sharing option, you need to enable it. You don’t need to install any updates at all, nor do you need to do anything. It will only appear when it is added to your device.
On your phone, open the “Settings” app, and select Google>Device Connection>Share Nearby.
If “Nearby Sharing” is not listed as an option, you have not used the feature yet, so you need to check occasionally.
When you first open the Nearby Sharing page, you will be asked to open it. Click Turn on and choose one of three privacy options:
- All contacts: After turning on and unlocking the phone, any contacts you have turned on the “Share nearby” feature will treat your phone as an available device.
- Certain contacts: After turning on and unlocking the phone, only selected contacts can see the phone as an available nearby shared device.
- Hidden: Unless you turn on nearby sharing, your phone will not appear as a device available to anyone.
How to use nearby sharing to send or receive?
After enabling and setting up “Nearby Sharing“, you can use it to send documents, photos, videos or links to people in the same room as you.
If you want to send a file, ask your friend to unlock the phone and keep the display open. If you are on the receiving end, you need to unlock your phone and turn on the screen.
- Once you find the content you want to share (such as a link in Chrome), you need to open the “Share” menu.
- Find nearby shares in the app list; click on it.
- A small window will appear at the bottom of the screen to let you know that it is looking for a contact to share with. Once you find your friend’s device, click on their profile icon.
- The receiving device will display a prompt to let them know who is trying to send them and what it is. Ask them to click “Accept” and all the content you send will be transferred from your phone to their phone like magic.
If you encounter a problem that the transmission cannot be completed, Google recommends turning off Bluetooth and then turning it on again, moving within a foot of each other, or switching the flight mode on and off.