Google Play adds the ability to share apps: Here’s how

Google Play
(Image credit: Google)

Google recently released Nearby Share, an app that allows users to share files and information with nearby Android users. Nearby Share is Google's version of Apple's AirDrop. However, it now appears that Google is extending the ability of Nearby Share to include the sharing of apps from the Google Play Store. 

A new share tab was recently spotted by the folks over at 9to5Google. The option was first discovered in an APK released this past December 2020. As exciting as this may seem, be forewarned that the share option doesn't work with all the apps in the Google Play Store with Stadia being one notable app that is unsharable via the new share tab. 

The new share feature is available to those running Google Play Store version 24.0 or newer. Please take note that the feature is not universally available as of yet so some may not have access to it. However, if you're one of the chosen few, here is how it works. 

How to share apps from the Google Play Store

  • Open the Play Store and navigate to My apps & games.
  • Select the Share tab.
  • Tap the Send button. To receive apps, tap Receive.
  • On the Send apps screen, tap Continue. Be sure to turn on your device's location settings.
  • Select which apps you want to share by selecting the checkboxes. When you're done, hit the green triangle in the top-right.
  • Find the person you want to send the app to and make them complete the first three steps.  
  • Once the connection is established, double-check that the four-digit pairing code matches. If so, the recipient can hit Receive.
  • A download begin and the recipient can hit Install alongside individual apps, or Install all.

Once two devices are connected to each other, either user can act as sender or recipient. The send apps button allows the recipient to do just that, while the sender will see a “Send more apps” option instead. 

Now to find a friend who also has a working version of Google Play with the share apps option, tally ho! 

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.