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Friday, July 3, 2020

Android’s Next Brilliant Feature Set To Better Apple’s AirDrop

Apple has a great way to share files, photos and videos between iPhones, iPads and Macs. Now, Android looks like it’s going to go one better.
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Sharing documents or files between smartphones and tablets from different brands is often a real pain point. Now, it looks like Android is getting ready to debut a new feature which will make it way easier.

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If you’re an Apple user, you’ll likely know about AirDrop. Although, maybe not, I get a lot of blank looks when I say, “Shall I AirDrop it to you?”.

If you’re an Apple user and you haven’t tried it, you should. It’s fantastic for sending huge files quickly from one iPhone to another, for instance, even if there’s no cell signal or wi-fi network – it needs neither as it creates its own direct connection. It also works between iPhones and some other Apple devices, such as Macs and iPads.

It’s one of those features which, when someone tries it for the first time, will be wowed by. They may even insist they’ll only use this method in future. Although, it’s worth noting that it only works if you have AirDrop turned on, of course, so there can be moments of frustration when you have a setting wrong and the magic doesn’t happen.

When you have an Android phone, though, things aren’t always as straightforward as a successful AirDrop.

If you and your friend both have Huawei devices, then Huawei Share is sensational and works whether you have a Huawei with full Google Android on board, or the more recent versions without.

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Between different phone brands, though things can be more complicated, though it’s far from impossible. Some, but not all, Android phones offer Android Beam, which uses NFC to help the two phones locate each other (they need to be touching or close to, unlike AirDrop and Huawei Share) and then transfer the files by a direct wi-fi connection.

Nearby Sharing is the name of an upcoming service from Google which aims to equal if not beat AirDrop. It will work on all Android phones when it launches, it seems. During its development it was previously known as Fast Share. The fact that the name is different should not be taken to indicate it’s not fast any more.

In fact, it seems its scope has increased, with Nearby Sharing have ambitions beyond AirDrop, even.

It could do this by having compatibility wider than just with Android phones and tablets. Dinsan from Chrome Story has tweeted that Nearby Sharing is showing up in Chromebook settings, indicating that the sharing can happen between Android phones and Chromebooks, too.

And, according to Kyle Bradshaw at 9to5Google, there is evidence that this code indicates it will also be coming to the Windows, Linux and even Mac versions of the Chrome browser.

This will be a godsend for anyone who uses an Android phone and a Mac, which don’t easily allow file transfers between them with anything like the simplicity of AirDrop.

In fact, it looks like Android phones will be able to share files, videos, links, photos and more between any devices.

Oh, no, hold on, not to the iPhone or iPad. Well, nobody’s perfect, not even Google upgrades.


Follow me on Instagram by clicking here: davidphelantech and Twitter: @davidphelan2009

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