How to Transfer Files with Nearby Share

One of the biggest conveniences of owning an Android device is the ability to wirelessly transfer files between two smartphones (regardless of brand), and even between an Android phone and a computer. While the primary file transfer method traditionally involved Bluetooth connections, this was often slow and resulted in a lot of developers making their own third-party Android apps, in order to make transfers and file-sharing a lot faster.

However, these often came with some caveats – some of these transfer apps came with ads, and some even required users to create accounts or involved log-in systems which made the experience a bit tedious, and just added to the list of apps that possibly compromised security and privacy.

As such, Google’s introduction of its “Nearby Share” feature a while back has streamlined the entire process, and the great thing is that the feature comes built-in with nearly every Android phone nowadays. If you’re looking to transfer files from one phone to another, between friends and family, or just between your own devices, then Nearby Share provides an easy way to do just that.

With that in mind, we’ve prepared this quick and easy-to-follow guide for using Nearby Share – let’s get started!

What’s Nearby Share?

Launched back in 2020, Nearby Share made its way to several Android phone brands and manufacturers and was compatible with devices running Android version 6 and up. This was essentially the platform’s answer to Apple’s “AirDrop” feature, which allowed iOS and Mac users to transfer files between their iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers.

It makes use of your phone’s Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, and/or peer-to-peer WIFI connections to transfer files – you won’t need to be online or connected to an internet service to use the feature. In addition to letting you share files between Android phones and tablets, it will also let you transfer files to and from your Chromebook.

Getting Started

To start things off, you’ll have to make sure that Bluetooth and location services are turned on your Android phone. You can easily do this by swiping from the top of your screen to access the drop-down quick settings menu and tapping on “Bluetooth” and “Location.” Next, you can tap on the Nearby Share icon itself (also on the quick settings panel) to bring up the context panel for the feature. Holding on the Nearby Share icon will take you to the full options menu, where you can select your preferences when using the feature. You can also customize your device visibility, so you can also make yourself visible to certain people when using the feature.

Photo courtesy: Google

You can also initiate the transfer directly while viewing your content. On your screen, tap the share icon, followed by “Nearby share.” You’ll need to have both devices within close proximity of each other during this time. Your phone will then display “Looking for nearby devices,” from which you can then select the device to send files.

Simply tap on the other device’s name, and once the transfer is complete you can then press “done.”

Receiving Files

If you’re on the receiving end of the file transfer, your phone will then notify you of the incoming file transfer (you’ll need to have Nearby Share turned on initially). Afterward, you’ll simply have to tap “Accept” to get the incoming file.

In case something goes wrong, a usual fix would be to restart your Bluetooth and location services. You can also temporarily activate “Airplane Mode” for a few seconds, and then turn it off to restart your phone’s wireless connections. Nearby Share works on photos, videos, and most media files. You can even use it to send internet links to other compatible devices that support the feature.

Thanks to Nearby Share, Android users will no longer have to resort to third-party methods to quickly transfer multiple and large media files, and the fact that it’s on every modern android phone is definitely a great addition. This also means that users won’t have to wade through dozens of Ads or give out their personal details just to send over some photos. It’s definitely a game-changing feature that builds on Android’s pre-existing suite of useful and handy day-to-day software features.

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