Quick Share becomes a true AirDrop alternative with support for all Android & Chrome OS devices

A graphic showing Quick Share between Android devices.
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google is working with Samsung to merge Nearby Share and Quick Share.
  • The new peer-to-peer sharing protocol will support Android and Chrome OS devices, and will roll out next month. 
  • Google is also working with PC manufacturers to add Quick Share to PCs via a pre-installed apps, including LG systems. 

If you've been waiting for the day that peer-to-peer sharing on Android phones finally rivals AirDrop, the wait is over. In one of CES 2024's biggest moves, Google announced that it has partnered with Samsung to merge Nearby Share and Quick Share into a single protocol. 

Sharing files, media, and more between Android devices has been a disjoined experience so far. Google introduced Nearby Share in 2020 as a peer-to-peer sharing service for all Android devices. That same year, Samsung launched Quick Share for its devices, as well as more Windows PCs. Both services were competing for ubiquity among Android users, but together will have a much greater impact.

The Quick Share name will be the one that lives on after the merger, which will create one sharing solution across all Android devices. Support will be available for Android GMS products with Android 6.0 or newer. Essentially, most Android devices still in use today will be able to take advantage of the revamped Quick Share feature.

Google, also being the developer of Chrome OS, is integrating Quick Share with Chromebooks as well. Those devices will need to be running Chrome OS version 91 or newer. 

The company is also working with OEMs in the PC market to pre-install the Quick Share app on their computers. LG was mentioned by Google in its press release, but not many details are known. However, we do know the Quick Share app requires a 64-bit system running Windows 10 or newer. 

Notably, the Quick Share app on PC does not support ARM chip architectures for now. This probably won't be an issue for many issues immediately, but could become a bigger factor as laptops begin shipping with Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X Elite platform this year.

The consolidation of peer-to-peer file transfer services means that a single tap of the Quick Share button will bring up Android phones, Android tablets, Chromebooks, and PCs. It'll bring Quick Share on a level playing field with AirDrop, the peer-to-peer file sharing service used across Apple products. 

Google says that Quick Share will begin rolling out next month, and current devices will Nearby Share will be the first to get the revamped feature.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.

  • bradavon
    This mostly a rebranding of Nearby Share. Which means Nearby Share was already a true AirDrop alternative.

    Google don't support the Windows on ARM platform but they really need to get onboard now. Chrome is still 64-Bit emulated, Nearby Share and Google Drive don't even install.

    Let's hope the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite is a sucess and Google finally sees benefit in supporting the platform.

    People expect Chrome whether we like it or not.
  • bradavon
    Plain strangely the current Samsung QuickShare app on the Windows Store says it's ARM and even the executable in Task Manager says it's ARM but it closes itself saying "Computer isn't supposed" :(

    It does this on my OG Surface Pro X anyway.