After a few months testing, Google has finally confirmed that its “Nearby Share” feature is on the way. Some Android users are already testing a beta version.
“We are currently beta testing a new Nearby Share feature in which plan to share more information in the future,” Google told Android police. “Our goal is to launch the feature with support for Android version 6+ devices and other platforms.”
The feature started showing up in Chrome OS Canary versions earlier this month, indicating it will work on Chromebooks as well.
Nearby Share seems to work as an Android version of Apple’s AirDrop. You can use it to transfer files quickly and wirelessly between nearby Android phones. Android Police, which has a handy feature with the feature, says it works for photos and videos, as well as links and tweets.
Samsung has been working on a similar feature called Quick Share, which allows you to send files to five friends at once. (AirDrop is one on one). However, the advantage of Nearby Share is that it should work with Android products from all manufacturers, while Quick Share is currently only intended for Samsung devices.
According to the Android police, you can’t use close sharing to send random things to strangers. A user must have the feature configured and make their phone “visible” (easily done through a Quick Settings tile) before they can receive content, and must manually accept a file they are receiving before it is opened.