On one side there’s AirDrop which works like magic for sharing files, and on the other side, there’s nothing like literally nothing. Why? Because Android is really messy when it comes to universally adopting any feature (or even updates for that matter) set across all OEMs.
While brands like OnePlus, Realme, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi have joined together to form a “file transfer alliance” to have a common file-sharing thing between all of their phones. Others like Samsung and Huawei are on their own in-house file-sharing solutions.
But, now it seems like Google has figured out one way of overcoming the hurdle, at least when it comes to File Sharing. Google’s universal Android file-sharing thing originally surfaced almost a year ago, at that it was named “Fast Share,” but then later it got rebranded as “Nearby Sharing” and then to “Nearby Share”, which is the latest name for the feature, it’s been in development for all this time. At first, it seemed like they’ll integrate it into the Android OS itself, so that all phones running Android will be able to take advantage of it.
Here is Nearby Share integrated into the Connection Preferences settings in Android 10 on the Google Pixel 4. pic.twitter.com/ZSMJsNMosr
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) June 15, 2020
But now, it turns out that Google’s ambition is well, very big compared to what everyone speculated previously. As discovered by Dinshan of Chrome Story, Google’s working on bringing nearby Sharing to Chrome OS, the feature is live on Chrome OS Settings app, you can enable it via chrome flags ( just type this chrome://flags, but it’ll not work because it’s still a work in progress.
— Dinsan (@_dinsan) June 19, 2020
From that chrome flag description, it’s pretty clear that the feature will be available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS. So, basically it’ll run on any and every device with Chrome or a Chromium-based browser, and obviously it’ll be backed into the Android OS natively. Now, how it will get implemented and how it’ll work and to what extent is still unclear.
But nonetheless, it’s super exciting to know that Google is working on something like this and the upsides to this feature are limitless, but only if it’s well implemented and more importantly if it works properly without any major bugs or issues.