Nearby Share Fixes Long Time Android Problem, Still Struggles Against AirDrop
Since 20 July 2011, Apple users across iPhones, iPads and various Macintosh laptops and desktop computers have had access to a revolutionary file-sharing system delightfully called AirDrop. Over a decade later, Google has finally caught up with the expansion of Nearby Share, releasing new Beta software for Windows that helps users share files between Android devices and Windows PCs.
While the functionality has been available for Android and Chromebook users since 2020, this is the first time Android devices have officially communicated with Windows devices.
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The wait is over for Android users longing for an efficient and hassle-free way to share files with their Windows PCs. Seriously, it’s been over a decade since Apple changed the file transfer game with AirDrop and subsequent Apple ecosystem features like Handoff. While Google’s latest release, the Nearby Share Beta app for Windows, now makes file sharing as simple as a drag and drop, it still has a lot of ground to cover if they want to implement the same level of cross-device compatibility that Apple users have come to know and love.
With over 3 billion active Android users, the Nearby Share feature makes it easier for Android users to share content between their devices. But with the recent release of the Nearby Share Beta for Windows, Google has opened up a whole new world of file-sharing possibilities.
How to Use Nearby Share on Windows
The new app is easy to set up and can be downloaded and installed onto your Windows PC in minutes. Whether the app is open or running in the background, sharing photos, videos and documents from your PC to nearby Android devices has always been challenging. Just drag and drop the file into the app or select “Send with Nearby Share” in the right-click menu, and you’re good to go.
Once Nearby Share is installed, you can share files between your Windows PC and Android phone without relying on email, Google Drive, or other inefficient methods. However, there are some system requirements to be aware of. The expanded Nearby Share app, initially available in the United States (Aussies will have to wait) and select other countries, is designed for Windows computers running a 64-bit version of Windows 10 or 11. ARM-based devices are not enabled.
The real beauty of Nearby Share Beta for Windows is the ability to share files between your devices automatically. Once you’ve logged into your Google account on both your Android device and Windows PC, file transfers are automatically accepted, even if your screen is off.
Moreover, the beta version of Nearby Share for Windows is only the beginning. As Google continues to refine the experience and receive user feedback, they plan to expand official support to share content with other Google ecosystem devices. Sadly, there is still no support for cross-platform sharing. But then again, Google and Apple are already at war with each other over blue and green message bubbles, so perhaps that’s still a pipe dream at this stage.
Until these two get along, you’ll need to rely on third-party apps designed specifically for cross-platform file sharing. You can use apps like SendAnywhere, WeTransfer and Zapya to transfer files between devices running different operating systems, including Apple devices.
While some may argue that Google’s introduction of Nearby Share for Windows is too little too late, others see it as a necessary evolution of technology. As more and more people rely on multiple devices throughout their day, it makes sense to have a seamless way to share content between them.
Why Did It Take Android So Long to Enable Nearby Share?
It’s a common question among Android users. After all, Apple’s AirDrop has been available for over a decade, and Android users have been clamouring for a similar feature for years. However, we believe the answer is likely a combination of factors.
For one, Google has a massive user base to consider. With so many different devices and operating systems to account for, it’s no surprise that developing a system that seamlessly connects them all took some time.
Another factor is likely privacy and security concerns. Google is known to be cautious when releasing new features that could compromise users’ data. You only have to look at their apprehension towards AI technology before the release of Bard to understand why security and reliability are essential before releasing new features to the public.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Google has been steadily improving its file-sharing capabilities over the years. While Nearby Share may be new to Windows, Android users have had access to various file-sharing tools for years, including Google Drive, Google Photos, and Google Cloud Print. Perhaps Google was simply waiting for the right moment to release a more comprehensive file-sharing solution that could connect all its different platforms and devices. But again, this is all speculation.
Regardless of the reasons for the delay, it’s clear that Nearby Share for Windows is a welcome addition for Android users. With its simplicity and convenience, it’s sure to make sharing files between devices even more accessible and more intuitive.
Overall, the Nearby Share Beta app for Windows is a welcome addition to Google’s suite of file-sharing tools. With its simplicity and convenience, it’s sure to become a popular choice for Android users who want to share files between their devices and Windows PCs.
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