We’ve known for a long time that Google is working on an Android feature called Near Share (formerly Fast Share) to make it easier to transfer files from one device to another in the style of Apple AirDrop. It looks like the feature will also reach desktops, thanks to the Chrome browser. One about google is this: when they want to get involved in a competition, they’ll likely end up taking over the entire market and doing better than those who started it.
Some detailed excavations by XDA developers in Chromium (the basis of the Chrome software) have indicated the nearby share function, although it is currently not clear how exactly it should be implemented.
It’s not official until it’s official, after all, Google’s plans can change, but it should mean that users will also be able to quickly share files between Android and Chrome devices on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
And the functionality is coming slowly: Google engineers worked on it for at least a few years before Android 10 was released. A similar feature called Android Beam was discontinued prior to the release of this version of the mobile operating system.
It’s likely we’ll hear from Share Nearby sometime before Android 11 officially launches this year: Google has already spiced up the feature’s introduction with pointers in videos for Android developers.
So far, there are no signs of this in the public beta of Android 11, but the full version of the operating system will not be available for a few months. Google is likely to keep some new features up its sleeve metaphorically.
When Near Share arrives, you are likely to use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi from one device to another to send files from one phone to another (or from one computer to another). This has to be done to some extent to match AirDrop, which is generally fast and fluid.
While we’re waiting for more information about nearby share and Android 11 launch in general, we will continue to notify you of information that is displayed, such as the recycle bin in the new operating system or support for Microsoft Surface Duo.