Google Aims To Nuke Apple AirDrop With New Android File Sharing Utility

Google is working on making changes to how Android users share files between devices. The service looks to be a direct competitor to AirDrop offered on iOS devices. The new Android file sharing utility is called "Fast Share" and 9to5Google says that it was able to successfully activate the service, which is the replacement to Android Beam that was introduced with Android 4.0 in 2011.

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Fast Share on Android allows the sharing of images and other files on your phone along with URLs and chunks of text to nearby devices without needing the internet. Fast Share is in the system share sheet and accessed by using the Google blue diamond-shaped nearby icon. It can also be launched in the Settings > Google > Fast Share.

The sharing process is said to be straightforward with the user only needing to enter a "device name" and tap "turn on." Bluetooth and Location have to be enabled, and the devices also require close physical proximity as well. To start using Fast Share, the users would bring the devices in proximity to each other to see screens that ask for users to set up the sharing. Those screens will show nearby devices that Fast Share can access.

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The receiver will get an accept or decline icon with details like "device name" and "connection ID." The file can be opened immediately after the transfer is complete. Users that you share files with frequently can be set for preferred visibility. 9to5Google was able to activate Fast Share on a Pixel 3 XL running Android Q. It's not clear when the official launch for Fast Share will happen