Meet Nearby Share: Android’s answer to Apple Airdrop

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For years, Android fans have been wanting an answer to Airdrop, the Apple-exclusive feature that allows you to easily share files and media with other close-by devices. Well, Android users will fret no longer thanks to the introduction of Nearby Share, Google’s official answer to Airdrop that will be integrated into Android operating systems in the coming future.

Soon, Android users will be able to share videos, photos and files in no time at all, with the update rolling out on Android phones now. Read on to learn more.

What is Nearby Share?

Nearby Share is an instant file sharing app exclusive to Android phones, and is intended to be an alternative to Apple’s Airdrop, which is exclusive to devices on Apple’s iOS operating system. With Nearby Share, you can instantly send photos, videos or files directly to other phones without initiating a messaging chat or calling. It’s great for getting photos to people in a pinch, and is now available on some Android phones.

How do I setup Nearby Share?

Firstly, you’ll need to turn Nearby Share on. Head into your phone’s Settings menu and find the option that says Google. Then select Device connections and you’ll find Nearby Share. If you don’t see it there, you likely don’t have the feature yet.

Clicking on Nearby Share lets you not only toggle it on or off, but also change your privacy preferences. In this menu you can change the name of your device, and control what other devices can Nearby Share with your phone. For example, you can set your Nearby Share up so only people in your contacts can share to your phone. You can also choose to use Nearby Share with data, Wi-Fi only or without internet. Thinking about this is important if you don’t have a big data plan.

You’ll need to have email addresses for any Nearby Share account you want to share with stored in your contact information – this needs to be whatever email is used for their Google Account. If they use their Google Account with a phone number, you can Nearby Share with them through this instead.

How do I use Nearby Share?

A phone
From the Share Menu, you’ll see a prompt saying Nearby Share (accessed by tapping Share in an app). Clicking Nearby Share will prompt your phone to start searching for nearby devices. If it takes a while, turn on Location Services and Bluetooth, if they’re not on already. You’ll get a popup notification when the other phone becomes visible. Simply send through the item and it’s done! However, keep in in mind that it could take a minute for your item to send, depending on the file size.

When will I get Nearby Share?

Google is slowly rolling out Nearby Share, so it might be a while before your device gets it. The first phones that will be getting the feature will be Google Pixel and Samsung phones, but Nearby Share will eventually come to all phones using the Android 6.0 operating system or higher.

Eventually, Google plans to have Nearby Share work between Android and Chrome OS, although at the moment it’ll be limited to Android phones. When Nearby Share becomes available for your phone, your device should be updated with Google Play Services, so you don’t need to wait for a separate update from your phone’s manufacturer. If it isn’t already, Nearby Share will be on your phone in the coming weeks!

Consider getting a new phone plan

If you’re excited for Nearby Share, you might want to think about getting a new mobile plan. Big file transfers through Nearby Share will suck up a lot of data, and if you’re on the go often enough to be using Nearby Share often, you might want to consider getting a plan with more data.

Below you’ll find a range of postpaid and prepaid SIM plans from telcos in Australia – try and get a plan relative to how much data you think you’d use.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Images: Google

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