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Android's Nearby Share may actually become a worthy AirDrop competitor

Only a small number of users are seeing the feature.

Published onAugust 16, 2023

Nearby Share on an Android phone.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
  • Users are spotting Nearby Share targets in Android’s share sheet.
  • It appears Google is making Nearby Share more seamless than ever.
  • The feature hasn’t been rolled out widely just yet.

Android’s Nearby Share — which uses NFC — creates an easy way to share files between devices. While it’s the closest thing Android has to Apple’s AirDrop, it’s not quite as seamless as Apple’s solution. But it looks like Google may be making moves to change that soon.

Some Android users are starting to see Nearby Share targets in Android’s share sheet. One of those users appears to have sent a screenshot to Android expert Mishaal Rahman who shared the image on X (formerly Twitter).

Nearby Share targets may soon start appearing directly in the Android system share sheet! This would save you a tap as you’d be able to select a device to send to without opening the full Nearby Share menu.
In order to reduce clutter in the share sheet, this will likely only…
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) August 16, 2023

In the image, you can see the share sheet with a few Nearby Share targets listed, including a Pixel Tablet and Legion 5 PC. Until now, if you wanted to use Nearby Share, you would have to tap on share > tap on Nearby Share > choose from a list of devices > and send. But if these targets will now appear in the share sheet, that eliminates a step and makes the whole process quicker.

Not only would this make Nearby Share more seamless, but it may even put it above AirDrop. With AirDrop, you’re required to select an option before you can see AirDrop-enabled devices, while Nearby Share would present compatible devices as soon as you hit share.

Unfortunately, it appears Google hasn’t rolled out the feature widely just yet. There are only a few reports of users seeing Nearby Share targets in the share sheet. But, hopefully, it will roll out to more users soon.

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