Following much anticipation, Google has launched its rival to Apple’s AirDrop, ‘Nearby Share’, with the file sharing feature rolling out to selected Pixel and Samsung smartphones from today.
Google has confirmed it’s working with vendor partners to deploy Nearby Share onto more Android smartphones in coming weeks, with Chromebooks also set to benefit in coming months (both sending and receiving).
The news will offer increased integration between Chromebook notebooks and Android phones, further locking in customer loyalty across the Google ecosystem and its software suite (e.g. Google Mail, Google Drive, Google Photos).
Nearby Share is integrated into the operating system, and will be easily accessible as a file sharing option.
The feature allows users to quickly send and receive files, with the absence of AirDrop often a notable con for consumers swapping from iOS to Android.
Users will receive a list of nearby devices, and receive an ‘accept/decline’ alert for file transfer. Privacy settings allow users to customise their visibility from ‘hidden’, ‘some contacts’ or ‘all contacts.’
Files can also be shared anonymously, forgoing an exchange of contact information.
Nearby Share is set to appear as a Quick Settings toggle when sliding down the Android notification shade. The service required Bluetooth and location services to be enabled, and leverages either Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), peer-to-peer WiFi or WebRTC to identify the “best protocol.”
All Android 6.0+ devices will be supported, with the availability of an Apple AirDrop rival heralded a notable win for the Android user community.
Read more on Google’s website here.