Android’s Nearby Share shows up Windows via Google Chrome, but it’s not working just yet
Google’s alternative to Apple’s AirDrop sharing feature, called Nearby Share, started rolling out to some users in a Google Play Services beta late last month. Shortly thereafter, Google started rolling out Nearby Share support to Chrome OS, allowing Chromebook users to start sharing files with nearby devices by enabling a couple of experimental flags. Now, according to a recent report from Techdows, Nearby Share’s UI is now showing up in Google Chrome on Windows on the Chrome Dev and Canary channels.
In order to use the new Nearby Sharing feature, you’ll first need to head over to chrome://flags and enable the “Nearby Sharing” flag. Once you’ve enabled the flag, you’ll need to restart the browser and then head to chrome://nearby. The following page will bring up a list of supported devices that you can share files with.
However, there are a couple of requirements that you need to fulfill for the feature to work as intended. First, you will need a Windows PC with Bluetooth support and a supported smartphone or Chromebook. Secondly, both devices need to be unlocked and close to each other with Bluetooth enabled. And finally, if you’re using a Chromebook to test out the feature, the Chromebook should have Nearby Sharing feature enabled in the Quick Settings.
While I do have a PC that supports Bluetooth, I wasn’t able to see the feature in action because I don’t have access to a supported smartphone or Chromebook. In case you do have devices that meet all the requirements mentioned above, do try out Nearby Share and share your experience in the comments section below. It’s also worth noting that while Google Chrome on the stable channel (v84.0.4147.105) does show the Nearby Sharing flag on my system, it doesn’t open up the chrome://nearby page yet.
This article was updated at 1:55 PM EST on July 31, 2020, to reflect that although the Nearby Share UI is now accessible in Google Chrome for Windows, it doesn’t work just yet.