Google’s AirDrop file sharing will breach the existing gap between users and fast sharing experience. Writing from what we saw on a new hands-on video, it looks like you’ll soon be able to check out the file-sharing feature on your Android phone. Also known as Nearby Sharing, XDA-Developers were able to get the in-development tool working to send photos and videos between a Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 4.
Another beautiful part of it all is that the AirDrop or Nearby Sharing solves a lot of the usability quirks that stopped Android Beam from gaining main stay out there. As it stands, Android now completes the initial handshake between two devices via Bluetooth instead of NFC. With that, you don’t have to position two phones to lean on one another to start the sharing process.
Instead of doing that, you will be working with up to a foot of range. Using the feature also looks more straightforward. You can enable the AirDrop from Android’s quick settings menu. The process makes sharing a file very simply as you are only required to access the share sheet, which you can do by pulling up in most apps by tapping the three dots icon.
It also looks like you will have a couple of options when it comes to setting up how the feature works. For example, there are visibility options that will allow you to restrict who can send you a file. In addition, there’s a setting to allow your phone to use data to assist with the process.
We could soon see a lot of Android phone manufacturers each releasing their own take on AirDrop. XDA had published a report that showed Samsung is working on a feature called Quick Share earlier today. And then, last year, a trio of Chinese phone manufacturers announced they were working on their own file-sharing technology.
Why Google’s solution may be the best is that it would work with any Android phone, instead of a specific make of phone. It’s not clear when Google will release AirDrop, but we look forward to knowing the launch date and even more at the company’s upcoming I/O developer conference, which starts on May 12th.