Fast Share, Google’s upcoming AirDrop-like service, gets renamed to Nearby Sharing ahead of release
One of the things that “just works” within Apple’s ecosystem is AirDrop, the file-sharing solution available on iOS and macOS, allowing users to quickly share files with each other without needing to rely on any third-party apps. Android had an NFC-based solution in the form of Android Beam, but the feature was deprecated entirely in Android 10/Q. The absence of a true Airdrop competitor on Android prompted Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo to come together to announce their own cross-device file transfer solution. On the other hand, Google is also working on its own solution in the form of Fast Share, which was originally spotted back in June 2019. Now, Google has rebranded the service into Nearby Sharing.
Nearby Sharing (aka Fast Share) uses Bluetooth to initiate a handshake between devices, and then subsequently transfer files over a direct Wi-Fi connection. This will allow for larger files to be transferred much more quickly than Android Beam. Google has yet to announce or release this feature, but it has been in development for quite some time now. After it was first spotted, the feature received a revamp to its Share Sheet and its position within the Settings menu, spotted in September 2019. Then, in November 2019, Mishaal found that the feature received some UI changes along with a new icon.
And now, with Google Play Services v20.1.03, the Fast Share service has been rebranded to Nearby Sharing. One new tidbit that we have also learned is that both the devices have to be placed within 1 foot of each other in order to share, according to the text at the bottom of the share sheet.
It is currently unknown when exactly Google plans to release Nearby Sharing. Because of the rebranding from Fast Share and the new icon, we predict that the service is likely nearing launch.
Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.