One of the features I love most on iPhone is Airdrop. If you own a whole ecosystem of Apple products, you can share files between them in a heartbeat. It makes everything work more seamlessly.
There is one thing I don't like about it, though. In order to share content to a device, it has to be unlocked. If it isn't, the device wont show up on the menu as an option.
That can be annoying. Sometimes, I'll have a document or file that I just want to leave on another device to pick up later on. I might not have that device nearby – perhaps I've left my iPad in the living room but I want to pick up the file in question once I've finished working.
That's now a feature which is available to Android phone users. On Nearby Share – the Android version of Airdrop – users will be able to send files even when the device is not unlocked. That was picked up by a Twitter user called GreenShades9, who noticed the functionality. Others in the comments had noticed similar things.
As long as the two devices are signed into the same Google account, users can drop a file. That appears to be the only caveat. Nearby Share even works with Windows laptops. It's not yet clear if this function works across those devices too, but it's certainly plausible.
It's a great feature. It should make life another little bit easier for users who want to share files among their suite of devices. I really hope Apple is paying attention and introduces similar functionality in Airdrop. They did announce a change at WWDC 2023, where users would be able to start sending a large file and have it complete using WiFi. While that is a handy feature to have, it's not as wide-ranging as the new Nearby Share feature is.
There has been no official word on the feature from Google yet. It hasn't been listed as a new feature as part of any feature drop so far, adding to further mystery around it. If you don't have the feature just yet, you may just have to wait for when it rolls out to your handset.