‘Fast Share’ is Google’s AirDrop competitor for Android and Chrome OS
Google is working on a new and faster way to enable sharing of multiple files between Android smartphones.
The search giant is looking to replace its current denounced feature ‘Android Beam’ for Android with a file-sharing app called “Fast Share”, which was discovered by 9to5Google and XDA-Developers. The new tool, which is part of Google Play Services, should work similarly to AirDrop on the Mac and iOS.
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For those unaware, Google had announced back in May that it would be deprecating the Android Beam – a simple way to share files on Android – with Android Q, as it had lost its usefulness.
The new tool ‘Fast Share’ will allow you to share images, URLs, text, and other files with devices that are nearby, even without an internet connection. Instead of using NFC to connect and transfer files between smartphones, the new functionality uses Bluetooth to connect between the two devices and sends files over a direct Wi-Fi connection.
The process for Fast Share does require you to have Bluetooth and Location activated on the smartphone. Once you have enabled it, you are required to enter a Device Name and turn Fast Share on. It will then pop up a full-screen user interface that will tell you what you are sharing as well as a progress indicator and a list of nearby devices that you can share with.
In the meanwhile, the recipient will get a notification with info like the name of the sender of the device, the connection ID and a prompt to accept or decline the transfer.
Another feature of Fast Share is called “Preferred Visibility” for frequent connections, which will allow your friend to detect your smartphone if you are nearby, even if you are not using Fast Share.
There are indications that this feature will allow sharing for Chromebooks, iPhones, and smartwatches, which means that it could be compatible with ChromeOS, iOS, and Wear OS devices.
It is not yet clear when Fast Share will be introduced on Android smartphones.