Google just copied the best MacBook feature for Windows — and you can try it right now

Google’s Nearby Share (Airdrop wannabe) is now available for Windows: here’s how to try it out.
(Image credit: Future)

Google's Nearby Share beta is now available on Windows for testing. The AirDrop-like application allows quick sharing of files from any Android device to your Windows laptop. This is very similar to Apple's AirDrop, which you will find on iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. AirDrop has been around since 2011, while Google's Nearby Share debuted in 2020, so Apple has a pretty significant headstart.

In a recent blog post, Android Senior Product Manager Priya Samnerkar shares that setting up Nearby Share on your Windows machine is as simple as "Just downloading and installing the Nearby Share Beta app on your PC. You'll then be able to send files to nearby Android devices or your PC based on your device visibility preferences."

Let's have a quick look at Google Nearby Share. 

How it works

According to Google, its Nearby Share Beta will work with your Windows PC whether the app is open on the desktop or running in the background. You can send a photo, video, or document from your PC to a nearby Android device by dragging and dropping it into the app or selecting “Send with Nearby Share” in the right-click menu. Select which Android devices you want to share to from the list that pops up.

You should be able to send files to your devices as long as both devices are logged into the same Google account; file transfers are automatically accepted, even when your screen is off. 

To share from your Android device to your computer, ensure the Nearby Share Beta application runs on your PC. Then, it’s as easy as tapping Share on the content you want to send and selecting the PC from the list of available devices.

I'm sure many Apple ecosystem users are snickering, "it's about time", but things happen when they happen. 

Although still in beta, you can share files back and forth from your Android phone or tablet to your Windows computer. Nearby Share is available for beta testing in the U.S. and some European countries. However, it is not available in the following locations yet. 

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Donbass, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.