Nearby Share is a Software-Based Solution
Unlike Android Beam, which required NFC hardware support for file sharing, Nearby Share is a completely software-based function that relies on the Google Play Services framework. This means that any Android device with a complete and up-to-date Google Services framework and Android 6.0 or above can take advantage of the Nearby Share feature.
How Setting Up and Using Nearby Share
After checking whether your device has received the Nearby Share feature, you can set up your device name and visibility settings. You’ll then be able to use Nearby Share as either a sender or a receiver.
When the feature is enabled, a Nearby Share entry appears in Android’s system share menu, making it easy to access. As a receiver, you can either enable the foreground reception interface or leave Nearby Share in the background standby state, depending on your visibility settings.
Currently, we can check whether our device has received the Nearby Share feature push through two methods:
Google has taken steps to prevent Nearby Share from becoming a tool for harassment by offering flexible visibility settings based on Google accounts and contacts. You can limit the sender range to specific contacts or even turn off visibility entirely, only using the quick settings switch for occasional file transfer scenarios.
Nearby Share offers three transmission methods: data, Wi-Fi only, and offline. This variety of options allows you to choose the best method for your needs and available network connections.
Pros and Cons: Nearby Share vs Apple AirDrop
The main advantage of Nearby Share is that it’s based on Google Play Services and the Chromium browser for pushing, meaning it has almost no hardware restrictions. However, it currently relies on Google services and requires a Google account login.
Because it’s pushed and updated through Google Play Services, Nearby Share can be improved and updated more frequently without relying on system updates. This also means that more Android devices can benefit from the feature, without the need for hardware upgrades.
Compared to AirDrop, Nearby Share has the edge in cross-platform compatibility and can potentially be used on other operating systems in the future. It also offers more flexibility in terms of visibility and transmission options. On the other hand, AirDrop benefits from widespread usage and seamless integration into the Apple ecosystem, providing added convenience for Apple users.
Welcome Addition to Android Devices, Android’s Nearby Share feature is a valuable addition to the platform, providing a convenient way to share files between devices. Its flexibility and ease of use make it a strong competitor to AirDrop and other file-sharing services, and its potential for cross-platform functionality only adds to its appeal. With continued support and updates from Google, Nearby Share is poised to become an indispensable tool for Android users everywhere.