Google renames Android’s version of Air Drop to Nearby Sharing

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 14, 2020

Obviously, since this information is based off of an APK teardown, things might change before Google actually launches this to the public, but the recent naming change does hint that the company is probably making some final adjustments to the feature before launching it.

Google made a decision to retire Android Beam a year ago but it, unfortunately, didn't have a replacement ready by the time Android 10 rolled out. Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo recently announced that they're going to bring a cross-device file transfer feature, and previous year, there were reports that Google is working on a feature called "Fast Share", and now, XDA Developers is reporting that the feature is probably being renamed to "Nearby Share" instead. Along with that they also found that the devices need to be within a foot of each other to be able to share which seems very restrictive.

Nearby Sharing works by using Bluetooth to "find" nearby devices and initiate a "handshake" between the devices. The files are then transferred from one device to the other over a direct Wi-Fi connection. It is odd that the tip in the settings says that the devices must be within a foot of each other considering that both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi work over much further distances.

Google is yet to make an official announcement but from the looks of it, Nearby Sharing is working as expected. Hopefully the Google version will work across all Android devices, no matter the manufacturer.

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