AirDrop's Android rival 'Nearby Share' gets an update — sending files to yourself is much easier

Nearby Share update
(Image credit: Google)

AirDrop's Android counterpart, Nearby Share, is getting an update that assuages a major paint point: sharing files to one's self. Nearby Share, launched in 2020, allows Android users to share content across other Android devices within range. For example, if you want to send a funny GIF to an Android-owning friend, you could use Nearby Share to beam it to them. 

Google is continuing to build upon Nearby Share, making it easier and faster for Android users to send files between their own devices. Today, the search-engine giant announced a new Nearby update that will make self-sharing more seamless.

Nearby Share gets game-changing update

Google is introducing a new Nearby Share update that lets devices (that are logged into one's Google account) auto-receive data transfers. The devices transferring data between each other must be running Android 6 or newer.

Nearby Share update (Image credit: Google)

How does it work? Simply select the Android devices logged into your Google account from the sharing menu to quickly share files between them. After opting in, data transfers between the devices you own are automatically accepted (even if the screen is turned off).

Like me, you may be wondering: "Well, what about Windows? Can I send files to my PC with Nearby Share?" Not yet, but the Google team is well aware that it's a highly requested feature.

"We are [...] hard at work bringing Nearby Share to the devices that you most frequently use and would want to share files with, and that includes support for more platforms, like Windows PCs, over time," Nearby Share product lead Alice Zheng said.

Nearby Share utilizes a variety of connection technologies, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, UWB, and WebRTC. Even if you're not online, you can find ways to beam that funny GIF to your friend who's within reach.

If you're worried about privacy, don't worry. Google says that you can manage your device visibility settings, allowing you to have control over how you appear to others. "Your device can be visibile to everyone, a subset of your contacts, or just your own devices," Zheng said.

Your Google account profile image will only be visible to your contacts. Others will see a generic icon that represents your device(s).

When will this Nearby Share update roll out to the public? According to Zheng, expect it in the coming weeks. It's also worth nothing that the self-share update will only work with Android phones to start.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!