Google’s Nearby Sharing feature looks like its own version of Apple’s AirDrop – CNET

Google Booth CES 2020

Google appears close to introducing its own AirDrop-type feature.

James Martin/CNET

AirDrop, or the concept of it anyway, might not be just for iOS users anymore. Google is reportedly working on its own version of Apple’s file transferring program, calling it Nearby Sharing.

XDA Developers says it was able to test out the unreleased feature by doing a wireless transfer between a Google Pixel 2 XL and the new Pixel 4. Both phones were running Android 10, XDA Developers reported, so it’s likely that Nearby Sharing will be accessible for Android devices with Google Play Services preinstalled. 

In a hands-on video, XDA Developers accessed Nearby Sharing by pulling down the Quick Settings tile and selecting Nearby Sharing. When selected, the feature can be turned on and you can search accounts to share files with. Nearby Sharing has customization features like the option to keep your device visible, granting permission to every file that’s sent to you, and deciding when you want data or Wi-Fi involved during transfers. Like with AirDrop, Bluetooth and location services have to be enabled. XDA Developers said that the distance limit is one foot apart. 

Fast Share was Google’s original name for Nearby Share. XDA Developers reported that Nearby Sharing could be a worthy competitor to AirDrop because it works across Android devices. It could be the competitor that the NFC-based Android Beam tried to be when it was introduced almost a decade ago.

Google didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

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