Google’s new Fast Share might be the future of Android file sharing

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

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. There's probably a higher proportion of devices with Bluetooth than NFC.

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. Android Beam, which used NFC, allowed you to share files without a data connection, but it required physically touching two phones together, so it only ever worked with a limited number of devices. 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. The process is identical to Apple's AirDrop, where you select one or more files, hit share, select the device from the list of those visible, and hit send. The activity now shows generic share targets, including a Chromebook, a Google Pixel 3, an iPhone, and a smartwatch. You can find more coverage over at the source link below.

Google Fast Share is now available as a beta of sorts, and had originally been picked up as such by 9to5Google, and by XDA soon thereafter. An iOS version would require a special app. It looks like it'll be a decent competitor to Apple's AirDrop, but given its reliance on Google Play Services, some will be disappointed that it won't be as ubiquitous as Android Beam. Still, given how many Certified Android devices are on the market, you'll likely have a hard time finding a device that won't support this new file sharing tool once it's available.

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