Nearby Share brings one of Apple's best features to Android and Windows

The functionality of AirDrop is now present on Android phones and Windows laptops

Windows 11 2022 Update
(Image credit: Microsoft)

When it comes to a holistic tech ecosystem, few do it quite like Apple. Sure, you could just use a MacBook, or an iPhone, and have it work fine. You might especially like the Apple Watch, or find an iPad easiest to get along with.

But when you combine them, the real magic happens. All of the devices feed off one another, and some intelligent features make it effortless to complete everyday tasks across devices. Put simply, it just works.

One of the cornerstones of Apple's ecosystem is AirDrop. It works as a sharing platform between devices, allowing you to select a file on one device and 'drop' it onto another.

In practice, it's really useful. Take a file from your emails on your laptop and save it on your phone for easy access. Or sign a document on your tablet, then send it onto your laptop to return it.

The popularity of AirDrop clearly hasn't gone unnoticed. A couple of years ago, Google unveiled Nearby Share – its own take on the concept. Initially, it worked with Chromebooks. Then, Android phones also got the ability. Now, a beta version of Nearby Share for Windows is live, allowing users to share between their Android devices and traditional Windows-based PCs.

In principal, this allows the same functionality that users in the Apple ecosystem get. Simply select a photo, video, or other file on one device, hit share and select the nearby share option. You'll then be greeted with a host of applicable nearby devices which you can pass the file onto.

It's a brilliant feature for those who want to use a non-Apple ecosystem. I personally use AirDrop every day, and its impact on how smooth simple day-to-day tasks are is immeasurable. Getting that functionality on Android and Windows should be seen for what it is – an absolutely stellar upgrade, which makes the whole package much more appealing.

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.