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Google and Samsung might be merging Nearby Share and Quick Share
- Nearby Share is Google’s peer-to-peer file sharing service available on all Android devices with Google apps.
- Quick Share is Samsung’s file sharing service that’s exclusive to Galaxy devices.
- The latest version of the Google Play Services app suggests that Nearby Share could be rebranded to Quick Share, hinting at a possible merger of the two services.
There are numerous ways to share files between Android phones, but the best option is the one that’s already available on both the sender and the receiver device. Every Android phone with Google apps preinstalled has access to Nearby Share, Google’s peer-to-peer file sharing service. Nearby Share isn’t your only file sharing option if you have a Samsung device, though, as there’s also Quick Share. Even though Quick Share is exclusive to Samsung devices, it both predates Nearby Share and also has some unique features that aren’t part of Google’s offering, which makes it a popular choice among Samsung users. Soon, though, Samsung users may not have to pick and choose between Nearby Share and Quick Share, as the two file sharing services could be coming under the same umbrella.
Developer and Pixel leaker extraordinaire Kamila Wojciechowska got her hands on a new version of the Google Play Services app, version 23.50.13. In it, she discovered numerous hints that Google might be rebranding Nearby Share to Quick Share. These clues were shared on the leaker’s X profile earlier today.
For example, after initially receiving the update, she received the following notification informing her that “Nearby Share is now Quick Share” and to “look for the new name and icon to share with nearby devices.”
The new Quick Share name is reflected in the Quick Settings tile, the dialog for discoverability, and the file sharing interface, as shown below.
As for the new icon, it’s visible in both the notification and the Quick Settings tile shown above, but Kamila also shared a close-up of the icon for better visibility.
While digging through the Play Services app, Kamila found evidence of a migration education flow for the new Quick Share experience. This, along with the new name matching Samsung’s existing file sharing service, suggests that the change involves more than just a simple rebranding. It’s possible that Google and Samsung might be merging their two file sharing services, or at least making them interoperable with one another.
If the two companies are collaborating with each other, it’s possible that either Samsung implemented the Nearby library in their Quick Share service to make it compatible with Nearby Share, or the opposite happened and Google implemented support for the Quick Share service into Nearby Share. In either case, Samsung users would no longer have to worry about accidentally selecting Quick Share when they meant to pick Nearby Share to share a file with a non-Samsung Android user. There would just be one option — Quick Share — that would work with both Samsung and non-Samsung Android devices.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any concrete evidence that the two services are actually merging. However, given the circumstances, it seems likely. After all, were Nearby Share to be rebranded to Quick Share without the two services merging, then that could mean Samsung devices would have two “Quick Share” options to pick from in the share sheet. That would only serve to confuse regular users, many of whom already aren’t aware of the difference between the two services.
We reached out to Google and Samsung for comment on the possible merger and will update this article if we hear back. If a merger is indeed happening, then it’s likely we’ll see an announcement at either CES 2024 next month or the next Galaxy Unpacked event, whenever that is.