Google says its Android AirDrop tool is rolling out in beta

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A few weeks ago Google has rumoured to be working on a version of AirDrop for Android. At the time it was unconfirmed, but now Google has added credence to the reports by telling Android Police that the feature has indeed been developed, and is currently rolling out to beta testers.

The Android version of Apple’s AirDrop is currently called Nearby Share, and while the name isn’t as catchy, it works in much the same way, with it allowing users to locate and share files between Android devices that are in the immediate vicinity.

Android Police had the chance to test out the feature before beta users, and it can be used to transfer videos, photos, social media content and browser links, but it is unclear what the file size limits are for this process.

With the AirDrop system dependent heavily on the stability of connection between devices, we’re assuming that file size won’t prove too much of a hurdle when connected to WiFi.

As for accessing and sharing content, a user intending to receive will need to activate the function and make their device visible to others. Like AirDrop, Nearby Share will prompt users to accept files been sent.

As for the security robustness of the system, it remains to be seen how effective it is at handling the nefarious motives of hackers, but like any piece of software, if you unknowingly accept files over Nearby Share, there will likely be little recourse.

There is no word yet on when this feature will be rolled out to the wider Android ecosystem, but Google does say that it will be available on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) devices or better. It also remains to be seen if all Android OEMs will make use of Nearby Share, with the likes of Samsung already working on its own version.

Either way, hopefully its rollout will coincide with the release of Android 11.

[Image – Photo by Pathum Danthanarayana on Unsplash]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.