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Nearby Sharing – Google’s own AirDrop rival for Android – is now out in beta

Google has been working on an AirDrop like file-sharing feature called Nearby Sharing for a while now. The wait is finally over, sort of, as Nearby Sharing is now out in beta (via AndroidPolice) and is currently available for a select few users who are registered with the Google Play Services Beta testing program.

“We’re currently conducting a beta test of a new Nearby Share feature that we plan to share more information on in the future. Our goal is to launch the feature with support for Android 6+ devices as well as other platforms,” a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying by AndroidPolice.

Image: XDA-Developers

Once enabled, users will see a distinct Nearby Sharing app icon in the sharing sheet, allowing users to share images, links, videos, documents, and other content. But unlike AirDrop, the recipient will also have to consent before someone can wirelessly transfer content to their phone via Nearby Sharing.

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When using Nearby sharing for the first time, users will have to configure settings such as device name, visibility status, and the connectivity medium over which they want to initiate the file transfer. There will also be three visibility options – All Contacts, Some Contacts, and Hidden. However, it is unclear when this feature will be rolled out widely, but we expect it to be released with the stable build of Android 11 later this year.

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