Nearby Share, Google's answer to AirDrop, now available on Windows
Since last year, Google has been developing 'Nearby Share' as its own native solution for file sharing, much like AirDrop from Apple. The capability initially appeared geared towards Android phones but later we learned that it would also become available on all desktop operating systems. Now, as TechDows reports, that integration has started going live for some Windows devices. Here's more about it.
As witnessed in a number of leaks, Nearby Share, previously dubbed Nearby Sharing and Fast Share, is a product aimed at enabling peer-to-peer transfers without using the internet or a third-party application. It works using Bluetooth, location, and Wi-Fi connectivity and instantly transfers files, links, and more from one smartphone or PC in Google's ecosystem to another.
While the mobile integration of Nearby Share is targeted at Android devices, the PC roll-out has been geared towards devices using Google Chrome or Chrome OS. This means if you have a Mac, Linux, or Windows PC running Chrome or a Chromebook, the feature is headed your way. Also, the sender and receiver have to be within 1 foot for the transfer.
Google has not officially launched Nearby Share but has been testing it with select users. A few months ago, the company launched the feature to Android phones enrolled for the beta test of Google Play Services and then followed it up with select stable users. Then, in June, it made the capability available in Chromebooks via Quick settings.
Continuing the work on Android and Chromebooks, Google has launched a test of Nearby Share on Windows. The company has added a flag called 'Nearby Sharing' in the Dev and Canary versions of Chrome for Windows, giving the users testing the browser an option to try the file-sharing capability. Notably, the same flag is also expected to appear for Mac and Linux soon.
To test on Windows, download Chrome Canary or Dev, go to chrome://flags and search for Nearby Sharing. After that, change the toggle of the option to Enabled, relaunch the browser, and head over to Chrome://nearby to start sending, receiving files.
Despite the wider testing and cross-platform integration, the biggest question remains - When exactly does Google plan to launch Nearby Share publicly? Users have been expecting a launch for months, and while these tests could give them a glimpse of the feature, its experience is not as finished as one would expect. Hopefully, Google would change that soon.