In the summer of 2020, Google introduced a version of Apple’s AirDrop under the name Nearby Share: With the first service, Android and Chrome OS users can share data from various types with other Android or Chrome OS devices nearby if they wish. These could be installed apps, any files, internet addresses, or even Twitter posts. Over the past few months, the functionality has appeared secretly on Android devices – not as a standalone app, but as a Google Play Services app update. Like the blog 9to5Google Reports, Google is now working on new sharing options to share neighboring devices.
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Close sharing: Share with everyone, share with groups
So far, sharing data via the Close Sharing feature only works if the sender is a contact in the recipient’s address book. This is about to change soon. With the new “everyone” visibility option, Google is working on a way to receive data from people outside of the address book. Since the corresponding option with AirDrop has led to problems in the past – users have disturbed strangers with unwanted content as they passed by – Google has thought of something new: The “everyone” visibility is only valid for five minutes if desired. Your private device then becomes automatically visible only to your saved contacts. Another innovation coming is sending a select group of multiple people. For example, if you meet your group of five and want to send a video file for all five of them, mark everyone in the group as recipients and send the file along the way. Then the Close Share feature sends it to all group members in turn. When Google will publish the changes is not yet known.