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Nearby Share – How to use and share files between two Android phones

    With Nearby Share from Google, you are now able to send almost anything to your contacts close by, which is between Android and Android, but quickly and more securely.

    Over the year of mobile phones, we’ve got different platforms of sharing files, starting from Infrared, Bluetooth, and WiFi methods. Now we’ve got the Nearby Share that uses Bluetooth to create a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi network between the devices.

    Nearby Share is an easy and simple way to send files between two Android devices, and it works similarly to Apple’s AirDrop, which allows it to only share with people in the contacts list.

    Sharing files such as photos, links, files, and more with others nearby on Android has never been easy like Apple users have AirDrop, which allows iPhone users to seamlessly send almost anything to other nearby Apple devices with just a few taps.

    What is Android Nearby Share

    You might have understood the basic idea behind the Nearby Share for Android, allowing you to send photos, videos, links, and contacts and more from one Android device to another.

    But in order to make it happen, it’ll use peer-to-peer Wi-Fi when you’re completely offline, and other sharing protocols include Bluetooth, Hotspot, WebRTC, and more.

    As already aforementioned, the feature is similar to Apple’s AirDrop, and it is rolling out in the Play Services beta right now. The feature will be arriving for all users with Android 6.0 and above.

    Nearby Share

    Does my phone support Nearby Share?

    This question is easily answerable from your own end, follow the below steps to confirm if your phone does have the support for Nearby Share feature right now:

    • Go to your phone’s Settings menu
    • Scroll down to About Phone
    • Look for the Android 6.0 version or higher

    That is it, your phone does support this newly announced feature. Practically, you’re good to go. Anyways, you must also understand that the above setting might be different due to phone manufacturers’ settings tweaks.

    To be clear, Google mentioned that this feature only works with phones that support 2015’s Android 6.0 or higher. If you don’t have, Android 6.0+ phones will have it over the next few weeks. There is a 90% chance of getting the feature if you have a phone that was released from 2015 or newer.

    Also, note that Nearby Share is available for selected Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones, but Google says that because the feature is a part of Google Play Services, you do not need to wait for an over-the-air update from your manufacturer or carrier to get it.

    Before now, Android had a non-popular sharing feature called “Android Beam” and it was introduced the same year (2011) with Apple AirDrop. However, Google killed that feature in 2019, it lets you bump the back of two phones with near-field communication sensors together to send photos, files, and more.

    How to find Nearby Sharing?

    To be that train right now, you will need to have opted into the Play Services beta so they can test out new features. To use Nearby Share, you have to install the Google Play Services beta on your phone. Once the update is available, you will be able to install it in minutes.

    However, you can keep checking whether your phone has it, and manually make the Google Play Services to update, thereby, enforcing the Nearby Share. To do that,

    • Go to your phone’s Settings app.
    • Click on Apps & Notifications and expand your app list.
    • Search for Google Play Services.
    • Tap Advanced.
    • Then scroll down to App details.

    After clicking on the App details, you’ll be taken to to the Google Play Services page on the Google Play Store. If you are lucky, and there is an update available, you’ll be able to force it to install.

    But the fastest way to find Nearby Share is to:

    • Go to your phone’s Settings menu
    • Scroll down to Google
    • Tap on Device connections
    • Click on Nearby Share

    Another method of finding it is as if you want to text or email the file to a contact, which means you will have to go to the share sheet, tap Nearby Share and turn on the feature. Later on, users will need to choose their default device name and visibility settings.

    Accepting that none worked, you can also go to settings, then head to connected devices, then to Connection preferences and Nearby Share. Based on your phone, this particular setting might look different.

    How to use Nearby Share between two android phones
    Nearby Share – Google Youtube

    How to share files on Android phones with Nearby Share

    Let’s say, you have successfully find the Nearby Share feature, you can now learn how to share between Android phones using the feature. Before we begin, understand that Nearby Share isn’t as easy as Apple’s AirDrop feature.

    • Lets you want to send videos or photos to a person next to you.
    • Open the file.
    • Tap on the share icon.
    • You will notice Nearby Share.
    • Choose the device you wish to send the file.
    • Tap on contact.
    • Turn on Bluetooth and Location
    • Then tap send.

    In order to make it more simple, the person you’re sharing with will need to be close, and they may need to tap on a pop-up notification to become visible to you. Most times, the sharing process time depends on the file you are sending.

    When you’ve found out the Google’s share feature from the Settings menu, you can toggle it on, and change your Device Name in the process, you can also choose to send via Data, Wi-Fi Only, or Without Internet, and you can also choose your Device Visibility.

    There are three options when it comes to Device Visibility:

    • All Contacts: This makes your phone exposed to all your contacts that have Nearby Share feature turned on. That means any member of your contact list can see your Android phone is nearby.
    • Some Contacts: This option lets you select some contacts in your list to use the Nearby Share feature.
    • Hidden: This explains itself, unlike the first and second options. You can only see your contact’s device when you are trying to share something nearby, but no one nearby will be able to see your device.
    Nearby Share on Chromebooks
    Nearby Share on Chromebooks – Google

    And again, you can only use share feature only with people in your contacts list, these should be people who are on your contacts list and your contact that you want to share the file, but have already verified their Google account with a phone number.

    From Google blog post, the company mentioned that “Nearby Share will work with Chromebooks so you can swiftly share files between an Android phone and a Chromebook, and vice versa” and we are looking out in a couple of months.