Android will have an equivalent to Apple's AirDrop file sharing

Google’s Fast Share is an upcoming AirDrop-like file sharing tool for Android

Google’s Fast Share is an upcoming AirDrop-like file sharing tool for Android

As an iPhone owner who uses AirDrop nearly every day, it's one of the few features I really, really miss when I use an Android phone.

After its initial discovery, Fast Share was quickly poked and prodded by the good folks at XDA Developers to get a look at what it does and how it works.

The company is testing a new Android feature called "Fast Share" that would allow phone owners to wirelessly transmit photos, text, and other files to nearby devices using Bluetooth.

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Android Beam operates using the near-field communication (NFC) module found in many modern-day smartphones or tablets, and thus offers the option of quick, convenient file-sharing that doesn't depend on an online connections. It doesn't appear that you can limit transfers to your contacts, but you can specify "Preferred Visibility" so that favorites see you even when you're not using Fast Share. You can send one or more files to another device by selecting the files you want and picking the "Fast Share" option in the share sheet menu. If you look at the device list in the second screenshot, this feature does not seem limited to Android phones, as an iPhone, Chromebook and smartwatch are listed as being nearby. You'll be able to find it (if you have it) in Settings Google Fast Share. An iOS version would require a special app.

We'll keep an eye out on this file sharing service and will let you know if or when it goes live.

9to5 believed this new feature is tied to Google Play Services rather than Android Q, so be on the lookout for it on your own device. Google is known to rip services out of AOSP and put them into Google Play Services, so this move shouldn't come as a surprise.

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