Every once in a while you come across photos, files, links, etc. that you want to share with your family, friends, colleagues, etc. an Android nearby.
Overview of sharing near Android
Of course, you can use your email to share the photo files etc. But it takes a few more steps and requires you to know the email address of the person you’re sharing them with. Likewise, you can share via text, but it requires you to know the phone number of the desired recipient and takes one or two more steps.
Apple has had the AirDrop function for several years. This allows users to access their share menu and send to anyone within a certain distance. They just tap on the recipient and the photo, file, etc. is immediately sent to them.
Android has now adopted a very similar feature: close sharing. Users have been asking for it for some time. It is initially released on Android 6.0 and above phones. Users gain the ability to instantly share photos, files, links, etc. Don’t worry, however, as Google said in his blog post presenting the feature that it will continue to protect your privacy.
Android’s near sharing feature works by letting you see all the Android devices that are near your location. Once you’ve selected the person you want to share with, they’ll be notified and can accept or decline your submission.
Google explains that once the recipient accepts the file, “Nearby Sharing automatically chooses the best protocol for quick and easy sharing using Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. . ” This allows you to share whether you are online or not.
The new feature has been designed with privacy in mind. You don’t have to worry about exchanging contact information because you can send and receive files and photos anonymously. Using your phone’s quick settings, you can set your privacy settings to be “hidden” or visible to “some contacts” or “all contacts”. This ensures that strangers will not be able to send you files. It also means that you won’t have to put up with everyone you know sending you files when you’re in the same room with them.
While at this point in the feature’s introduction, you can only share with Android, soon you’ll be able to share with Chromebooks as well. Google points out that with instant tethering, Chromebooks already have features that make them work well with Android, and nearby sharing will only get better.
Availability of nearby shares
Google said in its blog post that selected Google Pixel and Samsung devices will be the first to use this feature. Users were able to access it from Tuesday. The company promises to start rolling it out to other Android smartphones in the coming weeks.
Learn more about using the feature on the Android Support Page. Looking to share files on Windows 10? Read our guide on how to share files between Android and Windows 10 on your network.
Image Credit: Google Blog
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