Android soon seems to be getting a native feature to answer Apple's AirDrop. The new feature called "Share Nearby" was hidden in Android after a developer managed to activate it. This enables Android users to share files faster than with a conventional Bluetooth connection. The nearby sharing feature is not Google's first attempt to use AirDrop, which is available on Apple devices, since July 2011 as an ad hoc service for transferring files between iOS and macOS. The search giant has even tried to build its counterpart via NFC – support from Android Beam, which was discontinued in Android 10.
XDA Developers has created a practical video that shows the scope of the "nearby sharing" function hidden in Android 10. The video shows that the function is provided directly in the "Quick Settings" menu and enables users to transfer files quickly. with wi-fi. It is used for file transfer between two devices that are in the area of one foot.
Nearby sharing works over WiFi and creates an ad hoc wireless network for file transfer. In addition, Bluetooth and the location must be activated. You can also adjust the visibility of the device so that your smartphone remains hidden from other users.
As soon as the function is activated, the video shows that it can be accessed via the standard release menu. This seems to be similar to how you get AirDrop on your Apple device. It can also be seen that an accept button is provided once the receiving device is paired to give consent to receive the file from the other device.
The general functionality of the nearby sharing feature is no different from AirDrop. However, since it was developed by Google, it is likely to be part of Android devices by default.
Mishaal Rahman from XDA Developers pointed out in a blog post that the practical video showed the tests between Google Pixel 2 XL and Google Pixel 4, but it worked between the Pixel 2 XL and the OnePlus 7T Pro. This suggests that the feature may have been developed for all Android devices with Google Play Services – and not just for the Pixel family.
In addition to Google, Samsung seems to have its own pipeline file sharing feature called Quick Share. Some pictures released by Max Weinbach of XDA Developers indicated the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S20 series next month.
Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo announced their partnership to build a wireless file sharing protocol last year. It's called Mi Share on Xiaomi smartphones and Oppo Share on ColorOS-based devices. The feature is already being tested on some devices and will be available on all Android 10-based Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo phones from next month.
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