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Nearby Share may soon borrow a handy AirDrop feature to streamline sharing

Nearby Sharing files to Chromebook
(Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is apparently working on a "self-share" mode for Nearby Share.
  • The feature will remove the requirement to approve an item for devices on the same account.
  • The feature appears to already be available in Google Play Services, although it is not live just yet.

Nearby Share is perhaps one of the best Android features in recent years, making it easy to share content between devices. Still, there's always room to improve, and it looks like Google is preparing to introduce a small but helpful feature that will make sharing between your own devices a bit quicker.

Mishaal Rahman, senior technical editor at Esper, spotted a new setting in Nearby Share for "Your devices." When selecting your device visibility, this will limit sharing between devices signed in to the same Google Account as your phone. However, the best part is that this setting no longer requires receiving devices to approve the request.

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While approving items sent from someone else's device makes a lot of sense for security reasons, having to approve items sent between your own devices seems redundant. It's not a huge nuisance when using Nearby Share on an Android phone, but this feature would essentially eliminate one step in the equation and streamline the process, particularly for those who may rely on this feature (like I do). This would also mimic how AirDrop works when sending items between devices with the same Apple ID.

According to Rahman, the feature isn't live just yet, but it appears to already be available in Google Play Services, meaning it's likely just a matter of time before the option rolls out on the best Android phones. Since this feature would essentially take over the "Hidden" option in visibility settings, it appears that Google is adding a separate toggle instead.

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New Nearby Share device visibility toggle

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman)
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New Nearby Share device visibility toggle

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman)

It's unclear when this will rollout, but with Google I/O 2022 on the horizon, that seems like just as good a time as any.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.