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zeusthemoose

Google's Air Drop Alternative is Here

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Posted · Original PosterOP

 

 

Before I start, big thanks to @Pascal... for sharing this story with me

 

Summary

 Google's long awaited Air Drop alternative is finally here! It is called Nearby Share. Much like Air Drop, there will be three options for visibility. All Contacts allows all of your contacts with Nearby Share on to see your device and share to it. Some Contacts which allows only specific contacts to see your device and share to it and lastly Hidden where no one can share to your device. No matter the mode you are in, you will be able to see and share with nearby devices with the Nearby Share app open and your contacts who have chosen to be visible and are within range.

 To use Nearby Share, you will just need to select the option in the share menu. You then choose the device and they can accept or decline the file/video/whatever you want to share. It will then decide which of the follow protocols to use depending on which is the fastest in that situation. The protocols are: Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, or peer-to-peer wifi. This allows you to share even if you are offline.

 Eventually this will be coming to all phones running Android 6.0 and up and even chromebooks. However, so far it has only launched on select pixel and samsung phones.

 

Quotes

Quote

Easily share content both online and offline

When you just want to quickly share something with a friend or someone nearby, it can be a hassle to open your messages, find a contact and then find the file you’d like to attach. Nearby Share allows you to cut down on that time with simple taps and see a list of devices in your proximity with which you can share content. Once you select the receiver, they will be notified with the option to either accept or decline the file. Nearby Share then automatically chooses the best protocol for fast and easy sharing using Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC or peer-to-peer WiFi — allowing you to share even when you’re fully offline.

Safely share and receive files with those around you

Nearby Share was built with privacy at its core, so you can share and receive files with peace of mind. Now you don’t have to worry about exchanging contact information, because Nearby Share allows you to both send and receive files anonymously. It also allows you to adjust your privacy settings from your phone’s Quick Settings at any time. You can be “hidden,” visible to “some contacts” or visible to “all contacts,” so you never receive files that you didn’t ask for

Works smoothly with Chromebooks

In the coming months, Nearby Share will work with Chromebooks so you can swiftly share files between an Android phone and a Chromebook, and vice versa. Chromebooks already have features that make them work especially well with Android, like Instant Tethering, and Nearby Share will make Android and Chromebook work even better together. 

 

Select Google Pixel and Samsung devices will be the first smartphones to receive Nearby Share starting today. We will continue to work with our partners to bring Nearby Share to more smartphones in the Android ecosystem over the next few weeks. Visit our support page to learn more about how to enable Nearby Share and adjust your visibility settings.

(Google Announcement)

 

My thoughts

 As someone who doesn't use an android phone, this wont have much effect on me. I do however have an old laptop running Cloud Ready's version of Chrome OS so I hope it will work on that in the slim case it would be useful to me in the future (very unlikely). I see the main way this being used is for transferring files from chromebooks to android phones and vice versa. But, no matter how it gets used, this is a great feature for Android devices to have.

 

Sources

Google Announcement

 9to5google

 engadget

 @Pascal...


I am far from an expert in this so please correct me if I’m wrong.

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I wonder how they'll roll it out


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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, NZgamer said:

I wonder how they'll roll it out

They said they were working with other manufacturers to do it so it will probably start with the bigger companies first. But it seems to be an app you download instead of a software update so it shouldnt be too hard to get it on everything. They are aiming for phones in the next few weeks and chromebooks in the next few months.


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19 minutes ago, zeusthemoose said:

My thoughts

 As someone who doesn't use an android phone, this wont have much effect on me. I do however have an old laptop running Cloud Ready's version of Chrome OS so I hope it will work on that in the slim case it would be useful to me in the future (very unlikely). I see the main way this being used is for transferring files from chromebooks to android phones and vice versa. But, no matter how it gets used, this is a great feature for Android devices to have.

Does it work between Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux? If not, it's useless to me, just like almost every localized filesharing service. To be clear I'm not discounting what Google is doing here - in fact, I'm happy to see Android finally getting something competitive to Apple's Air Drop. But until companies drum up a truly universal solution for the majority of users working across multiple Operating Systems, I can't see how any of these existing services are of use.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, kirashi said:

Does it work between Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux?

Unfortunately, it does not support transfers between platforms. I could however see Microsoft partnering with Google to add it to Windows like they added support for android phones in the Your Phone app.


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I'd be more interested if it allowed passive directory sharing.

 

Basically turn a phone into a wireless storage drive. Will make old phones more purposeful, especially with an expansion card.

 

Also, password restricted public sharing mode. Where it allows access to only download of certain files upon connection with password provided by the host. This will make distribution of files fast and easy in places like classrooms.

 

The main draw of this local sharing method is that it's offline - does not consume metered data, does not require internet access, and as a side effect it helps to preserve privacy.


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wait it's Android to Chromebook only? LOL!!! great idea google! 

 

just for context how stupid this is, Airdrop works well because macOS has like 15% marketshare, and iOS is at like 25%. so, there is a decent chance that the person you want to share files with has at least an iPhone and possibly a Mac. 

 

chromeOS has like 0.8%, which is a quarter of linux. so, the chance of you encountering someone you need to send a file to who has a Chromebook is basically 0... 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, Ashley xD said:

wait it's Android to Chromebook only?

No, it’s android to android, android to chromebook, or chromebook to chromebook.


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7 minutes ago, Ashley xD said:

wait it's Android to Chromebook only? LOL!!! great idea google! 

 

just for context how stupid this is, Airdrop works well because macOS has like 15% marketshare

Chrome OS is more ubiquitous that you thought. A lot of schools for instance use Chrome OS and Android is is way ahead than iOS when it comes to the number of users. 


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Just now, zeusthemoose said:

No, it’s android to android, android to chromebook, or chromebook to chromebook.

still useless then if you need to share a file to a computer from your phone. that's what makes airdrop so awesome. if I want to put a picture from my phone on my computer I can do 2 things. I can open photo's on my Mac, wait for it to sync and then export the picture from there, or I can just airdrop the picture to my Mac and have it there right away...

 

this Nearby Sharing thing is only useful if you have android and chromeOS which not many people do. once they release a windows client then it might become useful to people. 


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Just now, captain_to_fire said:

Chrome OS is more ubiquitous that you thought. A lot of schools for instance use Chrome OS and Android is is way ahead than iOS when it comes to the number of users. 

sure, but for me Airdrop is only useful for my personal devices. I only used to once to send a file to someone else. I just use it for file transfer between my iPhone and my Mac. 

 

I mean I guess it could be useful to you if your school laptop is a Chromebook but even that I wouldn't count on since in basically all schools using your phone is forbidden so you'd be looking up everything on your laptop anyway. 


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4 minutes ago, Ashley xD said:

mean I guess it could be useful to you if your school laptop is a Chromebook but even that I wouldn't count on since in basically all schools using your phone is forbidden so you'd be looking up everything on your laptop anyway. 

There are people who want a laptop, desktop or tablet that isn’t Windows or Mac. The prices alone of Chromebooks are enough for low income students who just want to attend their online classes and type assignments in Docs or Office 365. I do think the likes of Samsung should just ditch Android and put Chrome OS on their tablets because all Chrome OS devices manufactured in 2020 are guaranteed with eight years of software updates


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And people say Apple just copies other and calls it innovation. Looks like they also innovate some things. Gesture navigation for Android was copied from iOS, now AirDrop clone... I just wish Android phone makers didn't copy Apple when it was about headphone jack tho...

 

What I really wish however is that manufacturers would stop being dicks to each other and make an universal standard that is compatible with EVERYONE and stop assuming everyone just uses their device (I'm looking at you Apple, Europe isn't this Apple fest you have there in USA and as iPhone user I'm really in the minority). So I'm not there trying to share something between iPhone and Android and I can't because they both run their own (incompatible) thing. This is where I miss Bluetooth times where it only mattered if phone had BT support and you could send anything between anything. Sometimes speed wasn't an issue when you could at lest share things. Unlike today...

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18 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

There are people who want a laptop, desktop or tablet that isn’t Windows or Mac. The prices alone of Chromebooks are enough for low income students who just want to attend their online classes and type assignments in Docs or Office 365. I do think the likes of Samsung should just ditch Android and put Chrome OS on their tablets because all Chrome OS devices manufactured in 2020 are guaranteed with eight years of software updates

I'm not saying Chromebooks don't have a place or are bad. I mean me personally if I had to buy a laptop for that price I'd buy a used MacBook Pro, but that's not for everyone and I get that completely. 

 

however, I can still laugh at this pathetic attempt to make Chromebooks more popular as personal devices. for this nearby sharing stuff to succeed it needs to have a windows app. that's just how it is. 


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so like, it's android beam, but with a name change and no more nfc?

now that sounds like a google product!


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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Ashley xD said:

however, I can still laugh at this pathetic attempt to make Chromebooks more popular as personal devices

You know what’s laughable? Charging $1000 for a 64GB DDR4 RAM upgrade for an AIO desktop or a $1000 laptop that has the most pathetic cooling. I think it’s quite messed up when you find it funny that another player other than Apple or Microsoft pushes another desktop OS to consumers as if people aren’t entitled for other choices. 🙄

 

22 minutes ago, Ashley xD said:

for this nearby sharing stuff to succeed it needs to have a windows app. that's just how it is. 

Why would it need to be ubiquitous to Windows as well when all it needs is for it to “just work”? And since ubiquity among platforms is your basis for a feature’s success, I can say the same with AirDrop which only works across Apple devices. Where’s my airdrop for Windows? 

Edited by captain_to_fire

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11 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

I think it’s quite messed up when you find it funny that another player other than Apple or Microsoft pushes another desktop OS to consumers as if people aren’t entitled for other choices. 🙄

chromeOS isn't a desktop OS though. not by modern standards. it's a web browser that can run mobile apps. 

 

12 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

Why would it need to be ubiquitous to Windows as well when all it needs is for it to “just work”? And since ubiquity among platforms is your basis for a feature’s success, I can say the same with AirDrop which only works across Apple devices. Where’s my airdrop for Windows? 

it needs to be on Windows because almost nobody uses Chromebooks for anything serious. if google wants this to become popular it would make sense to make it available to the devices that their user base uses. apple is in a position to make things exclusive to their products because they already have a sizeable portion fo desktop OS marketshare. google does not. 


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Going from Android phone to Android phone is perfectly fine.....but if you can't go from phone to PC....what's the point? It's gimped AirDrop. 


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19 minutes ago, DrMacintosh said:

Going from Android phone to Android phone is perfectly fine.....but if you can't go from phone to PC....what's the point? It's gimped AirDrop. 

Yeah, I agree. This will be one of those many Android features I'll probably never use because I mainly work with Gmail, Discord, Google Photos and Google Drive when sharing files and photos. Plus we've got a NAS so all of the backing up is directly going to that. 

 

Obligatory tagging of @Gegger because it's a feature that might also work on her Chromebook.

 

 

Also great write up @zeusthemoose !


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@Pascal...

 

thanks for sharing with me!

 

seems interesting, i have always wanted to see an airdrop equivalent for android and/or chromeOS, wonder how it will turn out


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can't wait to see the support for this to include Chrome


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Meh, it is basically Google re-releasing an app they bought and killed almost a decade ago (Bump), after removing some functionality.

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