Tech

Android phones will finally let you share files and pictures with people nearby, like Apple AirDrop

Key Points
  • Google on Tuesday announced "Nearby Share" a new platform that will let you send pictures, files, links and more to someone standing nearby. It's very similar to Apple's AirDrop option on iPhones, Macs and iPads.
  • It's convenient if you have a large file or a bunch of files you want to send someone who's standing nearby without having to attach a bunch of stuff to an email or upload it to the cloud first.
  • The feature is rolling out to Android devices beginning today, starting with Google Pixel phones and Samsung phones.
Google Nearby Share
Google

Google on Tuesday announced Nearby Share, a new technology for Android phones that will let you send pictures, files, links and more to other Android phones that are nearby. It's very similar to Apple's AirDrop option on iPhones, Macs and iPads.

Apple first released AirDrop in 2011, so Google's a bit behind in adding this sort of sharing option.

It's convenient if you have a large file or a bunch of files you want to send someone who's standing nearby without having to attach a bunch of stuff to an email or upload it to the cloud first.

The feature is rolling out to Android devices beginning today, starting with Google Pixel phones and Samsung phones, provided they're running Android 6.0 ("Marshmallow") or newer. That version first came out in 2015, so if you've bought an Android phone in the last few years you should be covered.

To use it, simply select the content you want to share, drag up from the bottom of the screen and tap Nearby Share. Then, you can select to share those files with anyone with an Android device who's standing near you. Google says you can send and receive files anonymously, or make yourself invisible if you don't want to receive files. 

Google said you'll be able to share with Chromebooks in the coming months, too. That, again, is just like AirDrop between an iPhone and a Mac. It will be available beyond Samsung and Pixel phones in the coming weeks, Google said.

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