Say goodbye to sending files via email or messaging to make them available on your secondary Android phone. You can use nearby sharing for this. Whether you want to share files between your phones or someone else’s, nearby sharing will work for phones kept nearby.
Without getting you more excited, let’s dive into the world of the nearby sharing feature on Android.
What’s nearby Share on Android
If you’ve used the AirDrop service on Apple, you must have a little idea of nearby sharing. But if you are not familiar with it, Share near me is a service for sending and receiving files between Android devices located nearby. The sender and the recipient must be in the same room. For best results, devices should be kept nearby. Nearby Sharing can’t be used to send files to people who are far away, such as your friend, who is in another state or city.
Nearby Sharing offers a clean, simple and user-friendly interface that even a novice can use. With just two or three taps, you can instantly transfer files between Android devices.
What devices and files are supported
Nearby Sharing will work on all Android devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above. To check your version of Android, go to Settings> About> Android Version. If the number is 6 or more, your Android phone supports nearby sharing.
When it comes to file types, you can share all types of data ranging from photos, videos, documents like PDFs, links, APKs, contacts, etc. The files will be saved in the Downloads folders and the links will open by default browser.
How close sharing works
For Nearby Sharing to work, the phone screen must be on and unlocked. Other than that, nearby sharing requires access to your location and Bluetooth services. The Android system will ask you to enable them if they are disabled.
Sharing services use multiple protocols to transfer files such as Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, and WebRTC. The best protocol is automatically selected by your devices, depending on favorable conditions. Nearby Sharing uses a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection to let you share files even when you are offline by creating an access point if the internet is not available. You can select the data service to use in the nearby sharing settings.
How to Enable Nearby Sharing on Android
Nearby sharing will automatically arrive on your Android phone, as long as your Google Play services are updated. Find out how to update Google Play services.
Once you receive the feature, you’ll find it in the share menu. That is, hit the Share button on any file and you will see Nearby Share in the menu.
You can also open the quick access panel (the one with the shortcuts to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.) on your handset. Tap the Share Nearby icon.
If you don’t see the icon, tap the edit icon on the quick access panel, find Sharing nearby. Drag the icon to the area with visible icons.
How to Use Nearby Sharing to Send Files Between Android Phones
Here are the steps:
Step 1: On the sending device, open the file you want to share. Tap the Share icon. Select Share Nearby from the menu.
2nd step: The name of your device and the visibility of your device will be displayed. Tap on it to edit them. You may need to enable sharing. To do this, press Activate. Your phone will start to search for nearby devices.
Step 3: Unlock the phone on which you want to receive the file. You will receive a notification that a nearby device is sharing. Tap to become visible. ‘Tap the notification.
Step 4: With the first device still unlocked, tap the recipient’s name which should appear in the Nearby Sharing panel.
Note: You can only share with one device at a time.
Step 5: The recipient will receive a notification asking for permission to accept the sharing. Tap Accept.
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How to access nearby sharing settings
To turn nearby sharing on or off, or to change its settings, do the following:
Step 1: Go to your phone’s settings and tap Google. Tap Device connections.
2nd step: Tap Share Nearby. Activate the toggle at the top. You can change your name, your device visibility, and your account details here.
Who can share content in a nearby share
If you are concerned about privacy issues with nearby sharing, don’t worry. Nearby sharing, for starters, lets you send and receive files without sharing your contact information. Only your name will be visible and can also be changed.
You can control who sees your device when the screen is unlocked using the device visibility setting. You get three privacy options in Nearby Sharing – All Contacts, Some Contacts, and Hidden.
- All contacts: Your device will automatically be displayed to all nearby contacts when they enable nearby sharing.
- Certain contacts: only selected contacts will see your device. New contacts must be activated manually.
- Hidden: None of your contacts can see your device. However, you will receive a notification suggesting that a device is sharing nearby and if you want to become visible to start sharing.
Note: When the recipient’s device is locked, it will not be visible to others.
Even though the device visibility setting suggests that you can only share files with contacts, I tried sharing with a device that didn’t have my email number or ID. And it happened transparently. However, my device did not appear immediately. I received a notification that a nearby device is sharing. It wasn’t until I tapped on the notification that my device became visible. Thus, nearby sharing can work with non-contacts, and the Hidden setting is used in such cases.
Does Nearby Sharing work with Windows 10 and other devices
No. Sharing near Google is now limited to Android phones. You cannot use it on all platforms. Even though Windows 10 also has a nearby share feature, it is different from Android. If you want to share files between Android and Windows, you can use the file sharing tools or try other methods.
Waiting for more
Nearby sharing starts with a promising offer. A clean interface and fast sharing put other file sharing apps to rest. Hopefully, Google somehow manages to integrate Nearby Sharing with Windows 10 computers. Nearby Sharing is also coming to Chromebooks. So we can hope for the best.
Android also offers an alternative to iMessage. Find out what RCS Android messaging is and how to use it.
Last updated Sep 15, 2020
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