If you’re an Android owner who has always been a little envious of Apple’s AirDrop feature, we have good news for you: Google is launching its own “AirDrop” feature on Android called “Fast Share.”
The feature was first discovered by 9to5Google. As 9to5 explains:
Google appears to be working on a new and simple way to share files between a variety of devices, including Android and Chromebooks. We’ve managed to fully enable “Fast Share” on Android today, and here’s how it works.
Earlier this year, Google confirmed that Android Q would deprecate the NFC-based Android Beam sharing method introduced with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in 2011. Google is now working on an alternative named “Fast Share” that’s similar to Apple’s AirDrop on iOS and Mac.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Google Fast Share: What Is It?
Fast Share is Google’s answer to Apple’s AirDrop. Apple launched AirDrop years ago as an easy way for Mac and iOS devices to send files to one another via creating a local ad-hoc wireless network between two devices using each device’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
AirDrop had several advantages over traditional file sharing via email, cloud storage, or messaging as AirDrop didn’t require an Internet connection to work. Any two devices could connect to each other and share files wirelessly thanks to their Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Fast Share is basically Google’s implementation of AirDrop for Android. It works by using a device’s Bluetooth to connect to another local device, creating a local network between the two devices, and thus allow the sharing of files.
Google Fast Share: What Kind Of Files Can I Send?
For now, it appears you can share almost anything you want via Fast Share, including photos on your phone, other files on your phone like PDFs, and even web URLs and snippets of text.
Google Fast Share: Sending And Receiving Files
To send a file using Fast Share, first view that file on your device (such as a photo). Then from the system share sheet select “Fast Share” and on the next screen select the device you want to send the file to from a list of local devices.
On the receiving device, the user will get a popup notification that someone wants to share a file with them. That user simply needs to either accept or decline the file. If they accept, the file will be transferred to their device.
Google Fast Share: What Devices Does It Work With?
It appears Fast Share will work with any Android phone or tablet running Android Q (out this autumn) as well as possibly earlier versions of Android. Fast Share will also work with Chromebooks and even iPhones and iPads, and obviously upcoming phones like the Google Pixel 4.
Google Fast Share: How Can I Get It?
That’s unclear. But a good guess is that you can expect to see Fast share go live when Android Q launches later this year.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.