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Google starts rolling out its AirDrop-alternative ‘Nearby Sharing’ in beta

Nearby Sharing is available to select users via the Play Services beta. 

Google has started testing Nearby Sharing in beta.
Google has started testing Nearby Sharing in beta.

Google’s AirDrop-alternative for Android has been rumoured for months. Google has finally started rolling out ‘Nearby Sharing’ in beta.

This was first spotted by Android Police who confirmed that Nearby Sharing is available via the Play Services beta. This feature was tested on a Pixel 4XL and Pixel 3a running Android 10. When Nearby Sharing officially rolls out Google might make it first available to its Pixel phones.

According to the test run by Android Police, Nearby Sharing appears as an app in the share sheet. It could also appear as a prompt just below the content preview. Nearby Sharing can be used to share different kinds of files like photos, videos, tweets and URLs. Once you select Nearby Sharing you’ll have to turn the feature on and make changes like your default device name and visibility. If there are any devices nearby it will show up in the list.

Google lets you use Nearby Sharing either via your mobile data for small files, or Wi-Fi, or offline sharing. You can also choose to customise your visibility settings by making it either all contacts, some contacts or hidden. The process requires you to make your phone visible for Nearby Sharing to receive files. Once you accept it the file sharing will take place. Files like photos and videos will be stored under the ‘Downloads’ folder on your phone. Android Police also notes that Nearby Sharing requires both parties’ consent for the feature to work.

Nearby Sharing is currently being tested in beta so not all users will have access to it. There’s no word on when Google will make it available to all Android users.