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Google Nearby Sharing – Everything You Need to Know

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Is AirDrop about to be rivaled by Nearby Search? Let’s find out what’s brewing next in the never-ending competition for supremacy between Google and Apple.

Since the birth of smartphone devices, especially since Android and iOS became popular, one of the arguments that can never be stopped is the issue of which operating system is best- Android or iOS?

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While most of us are tired of hearing people engage in this specific argument, we cannot deny the fact that it is one reason why Apple and Google have done the best they can to stay in business and prove who works harder and who comes up with the best Innovations and ideas.

As they struggle to improve their respective operating systems, sometimes they come up with features that seem to be very similar.

While Google does a clean job pulling ahead in terms of personalization and customization, Apple has maintained its position as the undisputed champion when it comes to a seamless exchange of files and data with all iOS devices.

Yes, it is undeniable that Apple has an unfair advantage in this aspect, as the company has done a fantastic job allowing only Apple devices to enjoy the proprietary OS.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, when we consider customer convenience, it is almost difficult not to declare Apple the straight winner.

Apple came up with iMessage, and it became the one and only king of messaging until Google created its RCS-powered messages app called Messages. Now, any Android user can seamlessly exchange messages from their PC without having to lay a finger on their Android phone.

After giving iMessage a perfect rival, Google has decided to turn its focus towards another fantastic feature, which is an Apple fan-favorite — the AirDrop. For people who are unaware of how AirDrop works, it allows Apple OSes — Mac OS and iOS — to easily exchange all manners of files.

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All a user has to do is to bring the two target devices close to each other, and AirDrop will swing into action and handle the rest. Android is known to have its fair share of good file managers and other dedicated apps that handle file exchange.

However, none of them make things as smooth and hassle-free as AirDrop from Apple. Google, knowing it’s time to do something about the lack of hi-tech software, has whipped up with a quick solution.

Named Nearby Search, the new service by google copy’s the working principle of Apple’s AirDrop and is designed to be exactly as effective as AirDrop.

Apple will definitely cook up something new to stay ahead of the game since google has decided to go after one of its best features, but Android users are most definitely excited to try out Nearby Search once it comes to life.

What is Nearby Sharing?

Nearby Sharing is Google’s new match for Apple’s AirDrop — and is expected to allow nearby Android devices to easily exchange files with one another almost at the speed of light.

Google has once tried its luck in creating a nearby file-exchange software, with its NFC-based Android Beam, but that hard work didn’t exactly pay off. The company ultimately let go of the service in it’s Android 10 and is finally set to launch a faster, and better alternative.

The first time Google spotted nearby Sharing, was in July 2019 under the title ‘Fast Share.’ Google has now changed the name of this sharing service, as well as the user interface, but the working principle has not changed; it has only got better.

How will it work?

As mentioned earlier, Google has once tried its luck with nearby file exchange when it launched Android Beam.

While the software didn’t require a third-party app and was pretty easy to use, it was nothing compared to Apple AirDrop when it comes to transferring speed.

Google’s Nearby Sharing is set to fix all the loopholes its predecessor had and hopefully put in place a system that can transfer large files at neck-breaking speeds.

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Google’s Nearby Sharing software would first create a connection between the receiver and the sender with the help of Bluetooth.

After users have successfully established a Bluetooth handshake connection, both devices would be turned to Wi-Fi direct, which would enable them to transfer files at very high speeds than was obtainable by the NFC-powered Android Beam.

For the base connection in Nearby Sharing to be established, users would supposedly have to keep their devices within one foot of one another.

Since the feature is still in development, it is only reasonable that we will cut the tech giant some slack for the meantime.

However, if Google does eventually launch this file sharing service with just 1-foot coverage — while AirDrop offers 30ft — there is denying the fact that critics will not hesitate to rip the American tech giant to tiny pieces.

When will it be available?

Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, google list yet to announce a date for the release of Nearby Sharing.

So, we have no idea when the American tech giant will make the service available to Android users. Google is known to release its latest innovation at the Google I/O, which means that this, too, might be fleshed out at the annual event later this year in June.

How to get Nearby Sharing?

Google is yet to release the feature to its thousands of customers, so there is almost no way people can get Nearby Sharing up and running on any mobile phone at the moment.

Furthermore, Chinese OEMs, Vivo, Xiaomi, and OPPO, have decided to work together to create their own Alternative to Apple AirDrop. Realme, which shares a close relationship with OPPO, will also join in the new alliance and take advantage of the new P2P file transfer protocol.

This means that if you happen to be in possession of a Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, or Realme device, you can conveniently and safely share folders and files with other Xiaomi/OPPO/Vivo/Realme users. The new service is set to go live by February 2020.

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