Android users worldwide were delighted when Google announced Nearby Share in 2020.
They now had a mechanism to compete with Apple’s AirDrop, an easy method to transfer files across devices without having to attach them to an email or upload them to Google Drive just to download them again on a different device.
A few users have discovered an enhancement in Google Play Services that makes Nearby Share easier, just in time for Google I/O. According to Esper’s Mishaal Rahman (via Android Police), the new “self-share” feature looks to let you exchange files across your own devices with just one tap. The feature has been speculated about for months, but it now looks to be on the verge of being released.
Until recently, Google needed the recipient of a share to approve it, which is a great concept for security and trolling but an extra step when all you want to do is send a photo from your phone to the laptop across the room. Only devices that have Nearby Share enabled, are physically close to you, and are signed in to your Google account are eligible for the new seamless sharing. Even if they aren’t on your account, they must accept each share from your device.
Google’s Nearby Share function is crucial, especially as the Android ecosystem continues to extend across devices.
If Google wants to be in your phone, laptop, TV, speakers, and wristwatch, it needs to make it simple for people to transmit data across them. Apple has often demonstrated what is possible in this area, not just with AirDrop but also with features like Universal Control. It’s not easy to get it right: for every spectacular second-screen experience Apple provides, it also includes a function that causes your AirPods to move from your phone to your laptop at the most inconvenient moments.
However, both firms recognize that a thriving ecosystem necessitates more than simply manufacturing goods; it also necessitates having them function together, and both appear to be working hard toward that objective. (In an ideal world, these features would also be cross-platform, but don’t hold your breath.