How to Use Nearby Share on Android | Sharing Files Nearby

How to Use Nearby Share on Android

Sharing files between Android devices can be a bit tricky. While Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are additional tools currently available in this field, no app or service has managed to come close to the functionality offered by iOS through its Airdrop feature. Thankfully, all that is about to change with Google’s recently launched Nearby Share.

Nearby Share is equivalent to or similar to Airdrop. It uses various protocols to transfer content between devices and is fully integrated into the OS itself. During this initial rollout, this feature is available to select Pixel and Samsung devices. Google plans to roll out this feature gradually to all devices running Android.

How to Use Nearby Share on Android

Here’s how to use Nearby Share on Android to share files. If you have Nearby Share on your device, then you can use the guide below to easily transfer files between different devices.

1. Open the file (photo or video, for example) that you want to share and then tap the share button to open the Share menu. If it is a photo or video that you want to share, you can also use Google photos or Gallery app. You can find the ‘Share’ icon at the bottom of the screen, or in the 3-dot menu button.

If you have Share Nearby enabled on your device, you will get Share menu as shown below. Tap on the option ‘Nearby‘ right below the thumbnail.

How to Use Nearby Share on Android-1

Now if this is your first time using Nearby Share then grant the required permissions for this service.

2. Tap on the contact you want to share the file with.

How to Use Nearby Share on Android-2

3. Wait for the other device to receive the file sent by you.

How to Use Nearby Share on Android-3

Your file transfer now starts and you can easily share files between two Android devices.

If you want to share files secretly then you just need to change your visibility in Nearby Settings. Change your visibility to hidden and no one can see you in their list of nearby devices. You can also select the number of contacts you want available for Nearby Share. Customizing this feature will also help you maintain confidentiality. The following 3 contact sharing modes are offered by Nearby Share:

  1. Hidden: This means that none of your anonymous contacts or nearby devices can see your device in the Nearby Share list.
  2. Multiple Contacts: This option lets you select a specific contact from your contact list. Only this contact can see your device in the Nearby Share list.
  3. All Contacts: This setting allows your device to be visible to all Nearby Share users around you. Your device will also be visible to anonymous users which means you can share files with everyone around you.

Google also encrypts the connection between sender and receiver when using Nearby Share which adds an extra layer of security to your data, no matter what your device’s settings for Nearby Share are.

How to Use Nearby Share on Android-4

How to send files offline in Nearby Share

Nearby Share automatically determines the best connection mode between two devices depending on various factors such as device settings, hardware, available connectivity options, and more. Once you initiate the connection, it automatically determines the best protocol to use between the two devices be it BT, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), WebRTC or peer to peer WIFI over a WIFI network or WIFI hotspot.

How to Use Nearby Share on Android-1

This means that you don’t need to make any additional changes to share files offline. Just go offline and transfer files with any device and Nearby Share can send and receive files smoothly.

While Nearby Share supports devices running Android 6.0 and above, for now, this feature is only available for Pixel and Samsung devices.

As the launch progresses, this functionality is expected to be available for most Android phones. Nearby Share will also be available for Chromebooks which will let you share files between your laptop and phone seamlessly.

I hope this guide helped you learn everything you need to know about Nearby Share on Android.