Nearby Share on Android now officially supports group transfers
Nearby Share is one of the fastest and easiest ways to transfer photos, videos, and other data from one Android or Chrome OS device to another, similar to how Apple AirDrop works. However, the feature has been lacking the ability to send one file to multiple recipients at once, which Google is finally addressing.
Google was testing the ability to share files to multiple target devices as early as March of last year, and it was rolling out to some people around September, but it still hasn’t reached everyone until now. The company said in a blog post on Thursday, “a new update makes it easy to share with multiple people rather than just one person at a time. Simply tap to add more recipients during a transfer. It’s rolling out now on all Android 6+ devices.”
The functionality works just like regular Nearby Share transfers — just pick Nearby Share from the share menu on any app, then you’ll see a list of available devices. By default, your phone or tablet will only appear for people who have you in their contacts, but this can be changed by tapping the settings button. Google didn’t mention the maximum number of recipients, but when we tested it last year, the maximum was four other devices.
This was just one of several features Google began rolling out widely on Thursday, including a Digital Wellbeing screen time widget, Google Photos Portrait Blur for all Android devices (with a Google One subscription, anyway), and new functionality for the Google Messages application. Nearby Share itself is a relatively recent addition to Android, as it first arrived in August 2020 for all devices running Android 6.0 or newer. It also rolled out to all Chromebooks with the release of Chrome OS 91, in June of last year.