Google is finally working on a new sharing feature to deliver a viable version of Apple AirDrop for Android phones. The feature is called Fast share that would allow phone owners to wirelessly transmit photos, text, and other files to nearby devices using Bluetooth. The news was revealed by two separate publications, 9to5Google, and XDA Developers.
As per the screenshots posted by these sources, Fast share allows you to share photos, text, and URLs with devices that are nearby even if you don’t have an internet connection. The list of the devices shown in these screenshots includes an iPhone as well as a Chromebook and Pixel 3 phone, It suggests that the intention is for Fast Share to enable cross-platform sharing. Long ago, Apple has made the transfer of files between them phones very accessible by a great feature called AirDrop. Whether you’re moving files between your iPhone and your Mac, or looking forward to send all photos to your friend’s iPhone, AirDrop does all the work.
Fast share would be available in the system share sheet or from the Settings apps. To enable it, you have to name your device and turn Fast Share on, Bluetooth and Location will also have to be enabled as well, the receiving gadget obviously needs to be within reach. Once you send a file to someone a circular progress indicator will be displayed on the screen, similar to what happens on the iPhone.
On the receiving side, you can accept or decline the incoming transferred file and you can open the files you’ve just received once they’ve downloaded. Also, Fast Share will let you set a “Preferred Visibility” to people who send files to you every now and then. Those people will always see when you’re in their proximity, even if you’re not using the feature.
It only works for the persons who have iPhones, therefore, Google has introduced their alternative to Airdrop. Although it is unclear what are the future plans of Google for the Fast share feature, as it does not appear to be functional yet. Seamless file sharing feature between the devices may seem like a minor feature, but it is the most important one.
As an iPhone owner who uses AirDrop almost every day, it’s one of the few features they really, really miss when they use an Android phone. However, in the past, there have been a few other options for Android users to share files. Android Beam, which used NFC, allowed you to share files without a data connection, but it required physically touching two phones together, so it only ever worked with a limited number of devices.