Monday, November 18, 2019
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Android will have an equivalent to Apple’s AirDrop file sharing

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Ask iPhone users about the creature comforts they like and there’s a good chance they’ll mention AirDrop — it’s an easy way to share a photo with a nearby Apple device owner. Android users should soon have an equivalent, though.

The 9to5Google team has managed to enable an upcoming Fast Share feature on Android that, like AirDrop, would use a combination of Bluetooth and WiFi to send files and even text snippets to nearby people.

Turn it on and you can see nearby Fast Share-enabled devices, with transfers taking just a couple of taps (including a confirmation from the recipient).

There are a few key differences. It doesn’t appear that you can limit transfers to your contacts, but you can specify “Preferred Visibility” so that favorites see you even when you’re not using Fast Share.

The sample recipients in the Fast Share screen suggest this might be available on Chromebooks, iOS devices and even Wear OS smartwatches, although we wouldn’t count on all of those being available whenever the feature goes public. An iOS version would require a special app.

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