Google to introduce AirDrop-style file sharing for Android

Google is currently working on a new sharing tool for Androids and Chromebooks that will mirror Apple’s AirDrop. The said feature is expected to replace the sharing method Google introduced in 2011, called Android Beam.

According to a report published by 9to5Google, the tech giant is now developing an alternative for Android Beam called “Fast Share,” which is similar to Apple’s AirDrop feature. The said alternative will enable users to transfer images, URLs, text, and other files without the need to connect to the internet. It can be accessed through the system share sheet or the Settings menu in the Google section.

Google to introduce AirDrop-style file sharing for Android

With Fast Share, Android users can now conveniently share files between devices using Bluetooth to initiate the connection and a direct Wi-Fi connection for the transfer. The said feature promises a speedy file transfer even for items with large data. It also offers a “Preferred Visibility” option, which will enable your frequent connections to detect you even when you’re not using the feature as long as you’re nearby.

The newest feature is said to operate the same simplicity as the Android Beam. With the said replacement, users are only required to enter a Device Name and turn on the feature, while enabling Bluetooth and Location.

Once the two devices have detected each other, a full-screen user interface will pop up to display the file being shared and the progress of the transfer.

When receiving a file on Android via Fast Share, you will be notified whether to “Accept” or “Decline” the file, along with the “Device name” and “connection ID.” Users will also be able to open the shared file right away once the transfer is done.

Earlier this year, Google confirmed that Android Q will be losing support for the NFC-based Android Beam sharing method. It is the closest feature the iOS competitor has to Apple’s AirDrop.

Android Beam used a device’s NFC technology to transfer files and media. It is activated by placing the devices back to back and displaying the content to be shared on the screen. Once the content has been sent, the screen will shrink down and a “Tap to Beam” notification will pop up at the top.

Up to this day, the tech giant still hasn’t made any announcements regarding Fast Share. However, many believe that Google will be launching the newest feature with Android Q’s introduction, which is expected to be in August.