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Google Nearby Share: Seamlessly share between your Android device and Mobile Laptop

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Destiny Young
Destiny Younghttp://linktr.ee/youngdestinya
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 13 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. He is currently pursuing MSc in Cybersecurity. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.

By: Destiny Young

Google Nearby Share is a service developed by Google that enables seamless file sharing between devices via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This utility software is available on Android and ChromeOS for mobile devices and desktop operating systems, respectively, as well as Microsoft’s Windows 10 and later (only x86-64 version). With the aim of providing a hassle-free and efficient sharing experience, Nearby Share has gained popularity among users since its initial release on August 4, 2020.

History and Development

Before the advent of Nearby Share, Google had launched Android Beam in 2011, but it faced challenges and ultimately faded away by 2017. Android Beam struggled to deliver the simplicity and reliability users sought in a file-sharing solution. However, in August 2020, Nearby Share was officially introduced for devices running Android Marshmallow and later. The concept behind Nearby Share closely resembles Apple’s AirDrop, allowing users to initiate sharing by selecting “Nearby Share” from the share menu and waiting for nearby devices to appear.

Google expanded the reach of Nearby Share with the release of ChromeOS 91 in June 2021, bringing the same features and options available on Android to ChromeOS devices. The service continued to gain momentum and, during CES 2022, Google announced the extension of Nearby Share to Windows, making it possible for users to share files between Windows PCs and Android devices. On March 31, 2023, the beta version of the Nearby Share app was released for Windows PCs, further facilitating cross-platform file transfers.

Features and Usage

Nearby Share utilizes a combination of Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, UWB (Ultra-wideband), and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to enable users to share various types of files, links, photos, videos, documents, audio files, and even entire folders effortlessly. The service ensures secure transfers, and users have the option to customize their device visibility preferences, choosing from options such as Everyone, Contacts, Your devices, or Hidden.

To enable Nearby Share on Android and ChromeOS, users can go to the settings app and find the relevant options in Connected Devices > Connection preferences > Nearby Share (or Google > Devices & sharing > Nearby Share) . For Windows, the Nearby Share app can be downloaded from android.com and installed on compatible PCs. Once set up, users can select the recipient’s device from a list of available devices and send a prompt for them to confirm the transfer.

With the official launch of Nearby Share for Windows, Google introduced several improvements, including the display of estimated transfer completion time for large files and an image preview within device notifications, allowing users to verify the correct file being shared . This update aims to enhance the overall speed, reliability, and user experience of the Nearby Share service on Windows devices.

Privacy and Data Handling

While Nearby Share simplifies file sharing, it does collect certain information to perform its services, and some functionality relies on Google Play services. This includes gathering account and device names for identification purposes, contacts for visibility and sharing, usage information, crash logs, diagnostics, and other performance data for analytical purposes. It is worth noting that the data collected by Nearby Share is encrypted in transit, ensuring user privacy.

Conclusion:

Google Nearby Share has emerged as a reliable and convenient file-sharing tool across various platforms, catering to the needs of Android, ChromeOS, and Windows users. Its intuitive interface and seamless connectivity make sharing photos, videos, documents, and more a breeze, fostering a connected ecosystem for users across different devices. As Google continues to refine and expand the service based on user feedback, Nearby Share remains a valuable asset for those seeking a smooth and efficient file-sharing experience.

Destiny Young
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 13 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. He is currently pursuing MSc in Cybersecurity. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.
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