Google has been working on a new Android feature called Nearby Sharing in recent months. Essentially, it is file-sharing software that is very similar to Apple’s AirDrop function, which makes it very easy to share files between Apple devices. The goal of nearby Sharing is to achieve the same uninterrupted file sharing for Android devices, and XDA developers recently showed a video of the feature in action.
Unlike Apple, which closely manages its ecosystem and has complete control of all its software features, Android is much more open source and is everywhere. This makes it very difficult to build a system to share files like this. Previously, there was a service called Android Beam, but it never developed properly nor was it convenient enough to be easily used. Obviously, there are third-party applications available, and some phone manufacturers, such as Samsung, implement their own systems, but a true Android service has been difficult so far.
As explained in the video, close sharing uses Bluetooth to pair the two devices initially and then transfer data over WiFi. The function works best when the devices are very close. The recommended distance is 1 foot, however, the service will continue to operate beyond that. The function is not yet ready for production, and Google still has some errors to solve. Still, having the ability to send files quickly and conveniently is worth the additional weight.