Google have finally developed a form of AirDrop with Nearby Share

After almost a decade, Google have finally managed to develop a file sharing function like Apple's AirDrop. Called Nearby Share, here's how your use it.
Christopher McFadden
You can now share files between Android and PC.
You can now share files between Android and PC.

Pornpak Khunatorn/iStock 

Whatever your opinion about which operating system is the best, iOS has had one major advantage over Android and Windows for some time, its AirDrop feature. In fact, for more than a decade, AirDrop has been a source of pride for Apple users and a cause of resentment for many who desire an easy way to share files between Windows and Android.

But Google and Microsoft have finally worked this out after years of battling with various standards and technologies: In 2020, Google's Nearby Share protocol gave Android phones a way to share files like Apple's AirDrop. Now, with the help of a fresh beta that anybody can download, the same function is accessible on Windows PCs as well.

Since this new Google app is still in beta testing, installation can be challenging. However, it does function well, so setting it up is worthwhile, but check a few things first.

"Nearby Share is already installed on Android 6+ devices, so you do not need an additional app. You will need to download and install the Nearby Share Beta app for Windows. Once it’s ready, you need to make sure it’s visible to your Android device, then start sharing," Google explains.

"Windows computers running a version of Windows 10 and up — ARM devices not supported. Download Nearby Share Beta and ensure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on your Windows PC." they added.

Other than that, setting it up is relatively simple. The first step is to get started on the Nearby Share page on Android. For the Windows app to download, click the "Get Started" button. Launch the app after installing it and log in using your Google account.

Once you've done that, give your PC a name on the setup screen, then select the Receiving box. Be aware that its default setting should be "No One." There are a few options when you click the drop-down menu, so have a fiddle and then click "Done" to complete the setup.

Verify that everything is operational on the Android side before moving on. Nearby Share is a feature of Google Files, which should already be loaded on your device and is not an OS function. If it is not activated, for whatever reason, go to Settings > Nearby Share in Google Files, touch the Menu button, and enable the Use Nearby Share function.

With that done, on your Android smartphone, go to Files, choose a file, and then hit the Share icon. You should see a list of compatible devices by tapping the "Nearby" button beneath the file preview. From there, find your PC, and the rest is history. You can do the same thing in reverse from your PC to send files to your Android phone. Pretty handy; we think you'll agree.

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