Nearby Share fixes one of my top Android gripes – but I still can't leave Apple

There's still one thing which an Android and Windows setup just can't match...

iPhone 14 review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Earlier this week, we heard about the introduction of Nearby Share for Windows. The feature, which can already be found on Android phones, acts in a very similar way to Apple's AirDrop, allowing users to share files between devices with ease.

The debut of the feature on Windows computers adds a crucial extra piece to that puzzle. Being able to share files between a phone and a laptop is arguably the most useful part of this idea, and now that's something Android and Windows users can enjoy too.

When I first heard the news, I was excited. Recently, someone asked me what was stopping me from swapping from my current suite of Apple products over to Android. My response was AirDrop.

Until I really stopped and thought about it, I didn't realise just how often I used it. Transferring pictures from an iPhone to a MacBook for editing? AirDrop. Putting card details in online and need to copy them from the banking app on my phone? AirDrop. Need to sign a document on an iPad? Yep, you guessed it – AirDrop.

So surely, now that Android and Windows have caught up, I could tempt myself into making a switch, right? Not entirely, and for two main reasons.

Firstly, I'm not convinced that Nearby Share will be as seamless as AirDrop. In particular, I'm thinking about the bank details scenario. I use it every time I make a purchase and it couldn't be more simple. Copy on iPhone; paste on Mac. It's almost instantaneous. If that functionality is possible across Android and Windows, I question whether it could ever be quite as seamless an experience.

Secondly, I still don't think there's a viable laptop alternative that can rival the MacBook, pound-for-pound. I use an M1 MacBook Air, and could easily make it through a full day of intensive use – video and photo editing, design, music production, even gaming – without fear of it dying. I've yet to find a Windows laptop that can compete on that front.

Honestly, I think the better – though very unlikely – solution would be a universal AirDrop/Nearby Share-type system. That way, you could send files quickly and simply, no matter what kind of devices you were running.

Will that ever happen? I doubt it. But hey, it's nice to ponder what could be...

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.