Reports have said that Google is working on a fresh file sharing feature for Android called Nearby Sharing, which will work like Apple’s AirDrop. Developers have said the new feature has been used on Google Pixel 2 XL and OnePlus 7T Pro, Google Pixel 2XL and Google Pixel 4, and it worked just fine.
Samsung is also said to be working on its own similar feature for Galaxy devices.
Google could be gearing up to launch its own version of Apple’s AirDrop, the feature that allows you to wirelessly transfer files between Apple devices, according to the XDA Developers forum.
A developer used the new file-sharing feature, which is said to be called Nearby Sharing, on a Google Pixel 2 XL and OnePlus 7T Pro, according to the forum. XDA Developers said it was also able to get the feature to work on the Google Pixel 2 XL and Google Pixel 4.
In the video, XDA Developers’ Mishaal Rahman shows how it would be possible to have your Android device visible to all nearby Google contacts, only contacts of your choosing, or keep your device hidden so that you must manually accept all file requests. Like AirDrop, Google’s Nearby Sharing would use Bluetooth to connect with other devices and location services to determine which compatible devices are nearby.
Google did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
The launch would be significant because it would give Android device owners a uniform way to share files across all types of Android devices. Google previously offered a feature called Android Beam for Android devices that allowed users to share content between devices by tapping their phones together, but it has since phased out that capability.
And while Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi announced standard software that would let device owners transmit files wirelessly between phones made by any of these companies, Google has yet to launch an Android Beam replacement that works across all Android phones. The company does have an app called Files by Google that allows users to transfer files without an internet connection, but to do so, the recipient must also have the app. This new Nearby Sharing feature looks like it would be built in at the operating-system level, removing the need to download a specific app in order for it to work.
Samsung is also working on its own AirDrop alternative called Quick Share, XDA Developers also reported.