Android phones are getting a sharing feature that iPhone users can only dream of

Google Nearby Share will soon allow sharing to multiple Android devices at once

Google Nearby Share
(Image credit: Google)

Google Nearby Share is Android’s version of Apple's AirDrop, allowing you to quickly transfer files between devices. However, a new upgrade is supercharging that function, allowing you to send files out to multiple devices at once. So, if you have a bunch of photos or a video you want to share with a group of friends, you don’t have to send to them one by one – just use the Nearby Share option and give them all the files.

The function is already available for Chromebooks (OS 89) but Xda-developers has shown that it will soon be available on Android devices too. This allows you to set your visibility to just contacts or everyone and will stay visible for a few minutes from selecting. You can also keep this on permanently if you wish. Now when you go to share a file or group of files you can hit the Nearby Share function and send an alert to all Android phones (and Chrome devices) in close proximity.

For users to actually receive the file, you need to manually approve the transfer on your device, and currently, only four transfers can take place at any one time. However, these requirements could be changed by the time this feature goes live.

Nearby Share is a handy feature for sharing content between computers and phones, as well as sending files quickly to friends. While most of us are unlikely to need to send to multiple people all the time, there will be uses – especially once we’re able to meet in larger groups again.

Though no timescale has been given from Google as to when we can expect this feature to be made live, it seems that Google’s I/O developers event in May is a potential date.

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.