The so-called ‘Android AirDrop‘ has been in a very limited test phase for a couple of months and is now beginning to expand to a good number of users. Of course, you can also try it: we tell you how to activate ‘Sharing nearby’ on your Android phone.
It’s not that sharing all types of files between Android phones is complicated because there are a multitude of applications to do this, Google also has its own application: Files. In addition, a good part of the manufacturers integrates their own solutions, such as ShareMi on Xiaomi phones. Now: why there is no generalized solution for all Android?
This has changed because Google has released ‘Nearby Sharing’, an option to send any file to another Android. And you can probably activate it.
How to enable Sharing nearby
We have been reading ‘Nearby Share’ tests for months, then called ‘Android AirDrop’ Sharing nearby, due to their similarity, and universality, with the exchange system that Apple uses on its devices.
Sharing nearby is a centralized system that is distributed on Android through Google Play services. In this way, Google ensures that it reaches as many devices as possible and regardless of its manufacturers; at least until it is compatible with Google applications and services.
‘Share nearby’ is starting to automatically reach the first devices: to find out if you already have it active you can perform the following process:
- Go to Android settings and go to Google options.
- Go to “Device connections”.
- Check if you have the “Share nearby” option. If yes, go activate it.
If you have not yet managed to enable Sharing nearby, you will need to force the installation. The best way is to install the beta version of the Google Play Services, but this does not guarantee you have the new file sharing option: everything will depend on the version of Android, the phone manufacturer, and your Google account.
We have forced the ‘Share Nearby’ activation on Android 9, 10, on Samsung phones and also on OnePlus. However, itdidn’t work for me only on a Xiaomi phone with MIUI (without this it implies that it won’t work for you, it’s about testing it).
To force the activation of “Share with nearby”, proceed as follows:
- Become a betatester in the beta version of Google Play services.
- Make sure to update to the latest beta version of these services. You can also install the latest APK from the APK Mirror.
- Once the Google Play beta services are installed, repeat the above process (Android settings, Google options, device connections, Share with nearby) and check activation. If not, and as a last resort, restart your phone.
If you can’t force “Share with nearby” you’ll have to wait for Google to officially activate it, you can’t do much more. It is only a matter of time.
Once sharing nearby is enabled, you can send a document, an image, a video, and even the APK of an application to another Android device that is nearby. The transfer system uses Bluetooth, WiFi, and even data: you can choose which connections nearby will use from Google options (the process in the previous section).
In order for someone to share content with you, you must have the Nearby activity. Besides, you have to activate it in the Google options (or before the first transfer):
- Go to the quick settings panel of your mobile phone. Usually, just open it and touch the pencil icon.
- Find the shortcut for Share with nearby and move it to a convenient location.
- Accept the changes.
Once you have the ‘Share nearby’ button accessible just tap on it so that the other person sees the device as available to send. And if you want to send them with this new Android protocol you need to do the following:
- Touch the share icon in the application from which you want to send content (photo gallery, file manager, web browser…).
- Click on “Share with nearby”. It is the icon of a braid, it appears within the suitable apps.
- Your Android will start searching for compatible devices. Remember that the device you send the file to must be “discovered” to accept the transfer.
- Choose the Android you want from the list and the content will be sent to the other device upon acceptance.
The transfer is made as chosen in the Google settings. Bluetooth, data, or WiFi: the system will choose the best connection to exchange.