How to share files with Nearby Share: Google's AirDrop

How to share files with Nearby Share: Google's AirDrop

Google finally makes it easier to transfer files and data between Android and Windows with Nearby Share, a proximity-sharing feature similar to Apple's prominent AirDop that is now available for PC. Read this article to find out how it works.

What is new with a Nearby Share feature?

One of the advantages that Apple's users enjoy is the well-established communication between their devices thanks to the AirDrop function, which allows users to quickly send and receive photos, videos, documents, geographical positions, or other content wirelessly between several devices.

On the Android side, however, it's a bit more complicated. A Nearby Share feature allows you to transfer data via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but it is more limited, although Google is trying to improve it. Normally, the recipient has to accept the file before it can be sent to avoid receiving unwanted files, such as malware. However, the Internet giant removed this restriction in September 2022 in order to make exchanges easier.

Instead, the Self Care feature automatically accepts files from Android devices: smartphones, tablets, and Chromebooks connected to the same Google account. But the company plans to go further! As announced on its blog, it is launching the Nearby Share application for Windows PCs in beta to allow easy file sharing between different devices, provided the new application is installed.

How does the Nearby Share app work?

To use Nearby Share, you need a mobile device running at least Android 8.0 and a PC running Windows 10 64-bit or Windows 11. In addition, both devices must have Bluetooth enabled, be connected to the same Wi-Fi or Ethernet network, and be within 5 meters of each other. You have to install the application on your computer so that it can detect and be detectable by the surrounding compatible devices. Then, the user needs to drag and drop a file in the Nearby Share window on Windows or select the sharing option from the right-click context menu to have it start automatically. Contrarily, use the feature on your Android device and an option to share content to the PC on Windows will appear on the screen. In addition, if both devices are connected to the same Google account, sharing an item is automatically accepted by the other device, even if the screen is off.

Google Nearby Share
© Google

Nearby Share is already available in the U.S. and most of the world except for some European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. So you'll have to be patient before you can enjoy it if you live in Europe. To start testing and using it, simply download and install the Nearby Share Beta app on your computer.

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