We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google Is Running a Limited Beta of Its Android ‘Nearby Sharing’ Feature

An Android Notication shade with a Nearby Sharing option
Android Police

One of the worst kept secrets in the Android business is official—Google has confirmed it is testing a Nearby Sharing feature. Much like Apple’s AirDrop, Nearby Sharing will let you quickly transfer files over a Wi-Fi connection.

In a statement to Android Police, Google confirmed it is running a Nearby Sharing beta test, but that test is limited to a small number of users. To try the feature, you’ll need to sign up for the Google Play services beta, and then be lucky enough to get added to the test. It’s a server-side switch, so just joining the beta isn’t enough.

Once in, though, you can share files, photos, videos, URLs, Twitter links, and more over Wi-Fi. Nearby Sharing appears to show up in the sharing context menus, and as an option in the notification shade.

That latter option seems to happen when other potential Android devices are connected. You can choose how visible you are to other users with three basic options: All Contacts, Some Contacts, and Hidden. It looks like you can choose to send files to people outside your contact list, but there are more hoops to jump through. That’s likely to prevent anyone from forcing data onto other nearby users.

You can sign up for the Google Play Services beta now in the hopes of joining the test. But if that doesn’t work, Android Police managed to get a hands-on and has more details and screenshots.

via Android Police

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »