Soon, a real alternative to AirDrop on Android

AirDrop is one of the advantages of Apple’s ecosystem over Android’s. Indeed, this feature allows iPhone, iPad and Mac users to easily transfer files between devices.

For its part, Google is gradually developing a real alternative to AirDrop, for its ecosystem. In 2020, the firm launched Nearby Share or Proximity Sharing. This feature makes it easy to share files between two devices, without having to use a service that sends those files through the cloud.

Nearby Share is already very useful, for example if you want to transfer a document to a colleague who is right next to you. On the other hand, it is less practical if you want to send a file from your smartphone to your tablet, for example.

Indeed, currently, when using Nearby Share to send a file from one device to another, the functionality of Android requires validation of this transfer on the destination device. This constraint is justified since it prevents unsolicited file uploads (which may include trolls or malware). But if both devices belong to the same person, this verification is useless.

Nearby Share: an update that will make the feature even more practical

Apparently, Google is working on an improvement to Nearby Share to make the feature even more convenient when sending a file to another device that you own. According to a tweet from Mishaal Rahman (one of the most reliable “leak” sources), Google will soon offer a “self-sharing” mode on Nearby Share.

“Nearby Share’s ‘self-sharing’ mode will allow you to quickly share files with other devices signed in to the same Google Account without having to approve the sharing. From what I can see, this hasn’t been rolled out yet, but it is present in the latest version of Google Play Services”we read in his tweet.

In other words, Nearby Share will distinguish between nearby devices that belong to you and those that don’t, to facilitate these transfers.

Rahman does not indicate when this Android novelty will be available. But it is possible, or even likely, that the feature will be presented by Google at the Google I/O 2022 conference. As a reminder, this is scheduled for May 11 and 12.

Remember also that at the beginning of the year, the Mountain View company announced a series of new features that will allow users of the Android ecosystem, and PCs under Windows and Chrome OS, to have better integration between devices.

“Over the years, we’ve evolved Android to support more devices in your life, such as watches, tablets, TVs, and even cars. And beyond Android, our work at Google includes laptops, headphones and speakers, smart home devices and more.”recalled Erik Kay, Vice President of Multi-Device Experiences, before explaining how the firm will ensure that different devices can work better together.

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