Nearby Share is Google's new nearby sharing feature to transfer files quickly

August 5, 2020

Just like Apple devices let its users quickly transfer files between iOS devices through AirDrop, Google has rolled out its own version of AirDrop, called Nearby Share. It’s a new file-sharing service for Android. What’s so special about it and how Google Nearby Sharing works? We’ll attempt to find answers to these questions in our today’s post!

Google Nearby Share

How Google Nearby Sharing works on Android Smartphones?

For long, Android OS lacked a simple, fast, and unified way to share files between devices. Google Nearby Sharing overcomes this shortcoming. What makes the feature so special? First, it’s faster than sharing a file by text since the sender doesn't have to spend time finding recipient's contact information. Second, it can work either offline or online. How does it work? Read the instructions given below!

  1. Open the image/text file on your Android Smartphone.
  2. Tap Share button in an app.
  3. Choose Nearby Share option.
  4. Ask the recipient to Accept the file upon receiving a notification.
  5. Enable file(s) transfer via best available communication protocol.

There are many file-sharing services available for the Android platform. However, most of them require users to either download a third-party app or own a device from some major smartphone manufacturer.

On your Android Smartphone, open the image/text file you would like to transfer quickly and easily.

Share Option

Access the Share option.

Google Nearby Sharing
Google Nearby Sharing

You’ll see 2 options listed there –

  • Copy
  • Nearby
Nearby Share Option Enabled
Nearby Share Option Enabled

Tap Nearby option.

The User nearby should receive a notification that someone wants to share content with them.


The recipient can choose to either ‘Accept’ or ‘Decline’ the file. Since users have this option, files are not transferred without explicit confirmation.

When accepted, the files are transferred using the best available communication protocol.

  • Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth Low Energy
  • WebRTC
  • Peer-to-peer WiFi

The information shared between the Sender and the receiver is fully encrypted, meaning the contact information is never shared with the third person. Currently, the Nearby Share feature works only on Android Smartphones. We can expect the same capability to be rolled out for Chromebooks, soon. Will, there be any Google file sharing app for PC?? Who Knows!!

Read our earlier post - Shoploop from Google offers a new way to shop online.

Source - Google Blog.


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Hemant Saxena
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