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Google Launches Nearby Share for Android

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Google Launches Nearby Share for Android

Quick and easy content sharing is now an option between two Android 6.0 or above smartphones and eventually with Chromebooks.

(Image: Google)

Google has spent years developing a very quick and easy way to share content between two Android devices, and it's finally cracked the problem.

Daniel Marcos Schwaycer, a Product Manager on Android, announced Nearby Share yesterday, describing it as "a platform to enable reliable and easy sharing across thousands of Android phone models and billions of people." Sharing content on Android until now has meant searching for a contact, attaching a file to a message, and sending it, but Nearby Share is meant to replace that process entirely.

It works by showing a list of devices "in your proximity" with which content can be shared. Tapping someone on the list will inform them you want to share a file and they can accept or decline the request. In order to keep things as simple as possible, and to support the most devices, Google then automatically selects the best available protocol with which to send the file. The options available include Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi.

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As well as making sharing content a very fast and fluid process, the good news is Google managed to get Nearby Share working with Android 6.0 onwards, meaning the majority of smartphones and tablets in use today can take advantage of it. There's also the promise of Chromebook

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compatibility being added "in the coming months," which Google views as a complimentary feature to the existing Instant Tethering.

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For now, "select Google Pixel and Samsung devices" are the first smartphones to gain access to Nearby Share. Expect many more smartphones to enable it over the coming weeks. Alternatively, if you see Nearby Share appear as an option and don't want to use it, Google allows you to turn it off in settings

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