Google is bringing Apple AirDrop-like feature on Android
File sharing between Apple devices, be it an iPhone, iPad or Mac, is a real treat, thanks to the company's AirDrop service. The feature detects nearby Apple devices and lets you share photos, videos, documents and more, with a few taps. And, now it seems like Android is taking a page from Apple's book and bringing something similar on Android. Here's all about it.
Android Fast Share: An AirDrop like capability
Just recently, the folks at 9To5Google enabled a Google Services-powered feature called Fast Share on a test Android device. The capability shows up as a blue diamond-shaped icon on the system share sheet with Bluetooth and other options, and lets you share photos, videos, URLs, and even text snippets to nearby Fast Share-enabled Android devices and Chromebooks.
How the feature works
The feature, when opened via share sheet, prompts the user to enter their device name and 'turn on' Fast Share. Then, it uses Bluetooth and location services to search for Fast Share-enabled devices available in close proximity. The devices show up at the bottom and you just have to select the recipient's model name to initiate the file sharing process.
File sharing with a few taps
As you tap on the recipient's phone's name, the file sharing process will begin and a circular indicator will show the sharing progress. Notably, on the recipient's end, they just have to hit accept or decline to receive or refuse the incoming file.
Users can give preferred visibility to frequent sharers
The feature would work with anyone having Fast Share, but you can give certain frequent sharers 'preferred visibility' by using an option of the same name in settings. With this, whenever you are near them, they will be able to see your device and send files even when you haven't opened Fast Share at your end. This would make the sharing process even faster.
No word on availability of the feature
Fast Share would make file sharing simpler for people who don't want to rely on apps like SHAREit. However, there is no word on when the feature would be available; chances are it will probably come on all Android, Chromebooks and WearOS devices as part of Google Play services. iOS support will likely be offered with a separate app.