Android AirDrop competitor Nearby Sharing gets shown off in hands-on video

Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL
Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's AirDrop competitor Nearby Sharing gets shown off in new hands-on video.
  • Developers over at XDA were able to get it enabled and running on multiple devices, including Pixel and OnePlus phones.
  • Nearby Sharing is now one of three different AirDrop clones that are being worked on for Android devices.

AirDrop competitors on Android are all the rage recently. So far, we have Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi working together to create their own sharing service. Then, yesterday, we saw Samsung's version for Galaxy devices leak out under the name Quick Share, which is expected to launch with the Galaxy S20 in February. Not to be left out, Google is also working on one named Nearby Sharing, formerly known as Fast Share.

Previously, the guys over at XDA-Developers gave us a first look at Nearby Sharing last year with some screenshots, but at the time, it wasn't functional. Now, we're actually getting a hands-on video of Nearby Sharing working thanks to XDA Recognized Developer Quinny899.

In the video, Mishaal Rahman of XDA-Developers demos the new feature running on a Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 4. He shows off that there will be three visibility options including, hidden, visible to all contacts, or only visible to specific contacts. There are also settings to allow you to change which Google account is used and to set the name of the device you are using.

Finally, you can decide when transferring files if you want to allow the use of data, stick with Wi-Fi only, or complete the transaction without the internet entirely.

Nearby Sharing will make use of location services to find devices in your area to make transfers and initiate the handshake using Bluetooth. Afterward, it should use Wi-Fi to move files speedily from one device to the other.

In the video, Rahman demos four file transfers with one of them failing, showing that the feature still has a few quirks. However, on the three successful transfers, he was able to send photos and videos between the two phones fairly quickly. That goes to show, when it works, it works really well.

While in XDA's example, they are using two phones made by Google, Quinny899 was able to get it working between a Pixel and OnePlus device, which shows that Nearby Sharing should be available for more than just Pixel devices once it is released.

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Jason England