One nice feature of iOS is AirDrop, which lets you quickly share photos, videos, files, and more to another nearby iOS device rather than having to create a new text or email. Now it looks like Google is prepping a similar feature for Android.
A feature called “Fast Share” has been discovered that Google says will let you “Share to nearby devices without internet.” Discovered by 9to5Google and XDA-Developers, the feature uses Bluetooth to initiate the contact between two devices and sends files over a direct Wi-Fi connection. It can be accessed from the share sheet or by going into Settings > Google > Fast Share.
Fast Share does require you to have Bluetooth and Location enabled. Once you’ve enabled it, you’ll give your device a name and then turn Fast Share on. You’ll then get a screen telling you what you’re sharing and a list of nearby devices that you can share with.
If you’re on the receiving end of Fast Share, you’ll get a notification with info like the name of the device that’s sharing with you, the connection ID, and the ability to accept or decline the file.
Another feature of Fast Share is called “Preferred Visibility”. When you enable this setting for a friend, they’ll always see your device when you’re nearby, even if you’re not using Fast Share.
Fast Share was discovered in Android Q, but it could work with previous versions of Android as well because it’s a Google Play Services feature. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when Google might officially launch Fast Share.
Android using to have a fast-sharing feature called Android Beam, which let you send files over NFC by tapping your phone with another person’s device. That feature is going away with Android Q, though, which makes the addition of Fast Share even more welcome. And because it uses Google Play Services, it should support lots of different Android devices, giving many people a fast and easy way to share files with their friends.
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