Here’s How Android’s AirDrop-like File Transfer Feature Works

The seamless file transfer feature is most likely to launch on Pixel phones first, and then made available to others

Tech News
2 min read
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Android has evolved over the years but if there’s one thing its users would still want is a reliable feature to transfer files between two Android devices. You might say apps like ShareIt service that purpose, but we’re talking about something like Apple’s AirDrop feature that’s worked effectively for iOS users for many years now.

But a new report with a video demo from XDA Developer, suggests Android’s AirDrop-like feature is just around the corner, and could be released in the near future.

We already know brands like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo among others are joining hands to make file transfer seamless for users of their devices, but getting Android to make a feature will help those who don’t have phones from either of these brands.

The feature for Android is called Nearby Sharing (classic Google!) and here’s how it works.


In the video below, the author is using two Pixel devices and uses the Nearby Sharing option to transfer files.

Considering the feature is yet to roll out for the end-users, it seems to have some bugs, which will most likely be rectified before the final release is published.

Having said that, we’re hoping the source code of the Android’s file transfer feature isn’t limited to the Pixel series of phones for a long time and the demo seems to have good news on that front for us.


How Nearby Sharing Will Work

  • Swipe down on your phone to get quick settings menu
  • Look for Nearby Sharing and enable it
  • Make sure other phones can see your device
  • Select files and click on Nearby Sharing to send them

So, how does Android’s version of AirDrop work? The Nearby Sharing option will be available in the Quick Settings part, which can be accessed by swiping down the menu which houses other options like Wi-Fi, mobile data and more.

Just like Bluetooth, you have to make the Nearby Sharing feature active, which lets the phone detect other supported devices in its vicinity.


But the video clearly shows the feature will seek the use of Bluetooth and location service on your device, to be able to detect other devices near it. We also like that Android will limit its connectivity range, which makes sure you don’t get file transfer requests from random strangers in a room or a cafe.

And finally, users can select one or multiple files (keep Nearby Sharing open), select the phone files and send them to the person next to you. With Bluetooth mostly becoming audio-focused (and rightly so), Nearby Sharing is probably the best thing Android could have asked for.

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