Until a few months ago, Android users have asked ourselves why we didn’t have a standard system to quickly and easily share files and links between our mobile devices, in the image and likeness of iOS AirDrop. No walking around connecting Bluetooth, or uploading and downloading files on Google Drive.
But then, last January Google introduced its new Nearby Sharing feature to the world; and at all times circumscribed its future release (it is believed that it could be incorporated into the final version of Android 11) to the environment of Android devices.
However, everything indicates that Google wants to make up for lost time and make Nearby Sharing much more ambitious than a mere information sharing system between mobiles and tablets.
A function that (still) doesn’t work, but indicates many things
And it is the one that the latest version of Chrome OS Canary (the developing version of Google’s operating system for Chromebooks) indicates that this technology could also reach desktop devices.
If we access the configuration of the test functions of Chrome OS (in chrome: // flags), the system will not offer to enable the use of Nearby Sharing for “share content between Mac, Windows, Linux and Chrome OS devices”.
This would suppose a quantitative jump that it would turn this system into a much more interoperable competitor than AirDrop, available today only for Apple devices (Mac and iOS).
Unfortunately, users who have tried activating this feature say they don’t detect any changes, which indicates that it is in a very early phase of its implementation.
Others have reviewed the Chrome source code, and have found an explicit reference to Nearby Sharing that clarifies that this (future) functionality is an implementation of the one already introduced in January for mobile.
Hopefully when Nearby Sharing is finally available for desktop devices it will only be through the installation in them of the Google Chrome browser, and not as standalone software.
Track | 9to5Google
Google plans to port Nearby Sharing, the ‘Android AirDrop’, to Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS