There are more ways to transfer files than you could count on both hands, but one of the most convenient and undeniably fast ways to do this is with Apple’s AirDrop. Finally, it looks like Google will roll out its own, equivalent solution soon.
According to 9to5Google, the new feature is called Fast Share and is set to replace the NFC-based Android Beam file-sharing method Google introduced with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in 2011. Google’s plan is to replace its previous feature (Beam) with Fast Share with the official rollout of Android Q.
Faster than Air?
Fast Share will make use of the ‘Nearby’ service that’s already built into Google Play Services which allows users to share files without an internet connection. In much the same way AirDrop works, Fast Share will use Bluetooth to discover and establish contact, and then transfer files over a direct Wi-Fi connection.
9to5Google says, “Fast Share on Android can be used to share images and other files on your phone — as well as URLs and snippets of text — ‘to nearby devices without internet’. It’s available from the system share sheet with the feature currently using Google’s blue diamond-shaped Nearby icon”.
It looks like the feature is only available on Google Pixel devices at the moment, but will likely roll out to more Android devices after the official release. After that — whenever it may be — we’ll probably have access on most Android smartphones as well as Chromebooks (which aren’t available locally). But at least you’ll be able to easily send your Android buddies funny gifs of cats or whatever.