How To Use Google Nearby Share?

Charudatta Updated on May 12, 2022 Filed to: File Transfer

One cool iOS trick that Apple users love is the AirDrop feature. For years, there was no similar alternative to AirDrop for Android phones. Well, finally Google has come up with a solution for you guys. Google Nearby Share is a way of sharing files between Android phones and it works very similar to how AirDrop does.

It's convenient and secure and should be able to transfer your files within seconds. Since it's a relatively new feature, a lot of you might not know how to use it or haven't even heard of it. So let's dive in and learn all about Nearby Share by Google.

Part 1: What is Google Nearby Share?

The Google Nearby Share app is a new feature that is available on Android phones and it is Google's version of AirDrop. It uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to transfer devices between Google devices. It automatically ensures that the fastest mode of data transfer is being used, even when you are not connected to the internet.

Officially, Google Play Services Nearby Share was released on August 4, 2020. It should be available on any phone that uses an operating system of Android 6 or above. Even older versions might get this feature as Google expands its support.

What makes Nearby Share different from other file transfer methods like Bluetooth, is that you can choose between different transfer protocols. Files can be transferred over Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth, WebRTC, or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. By default, this choice is automatic, depending on what's the most efficient option but you can also manually select it.

Part 2: How to Use Google Nearby Share?

Now that we've gone over what Google Play Nearby Share is, let's see how you can use it. It's pretty easy, just share the file you want to transfer and you should see the Nearby Share option pop up first thing on the share sheet. As long as both devices support Nearby Share, you can easily transfer your files.

Here's how.

Step 1: Navigate to the file
First, you should navigate to the file you wish to transfer. This could be anything from a picture to a document or PDF or even an mp3 song file. You can even select multiple files to share at once.
Once you have your files selected, tap and hold on to the file and you should see a Share option or button pop up somewhere on your screen. Depending on your phone, the location might slightly differ. You can also share the file by pressing the three dots on top of your screen that should be the Options icon.

share option

Step 2: Tap on Nearby Share
Once the Share Sheet pops up, you should see the Nearby Share icon right on top. Since this is a new feature, it shows up very easily so people can find it.

nearby share option

Step 3: Turn on Nearby Share
If you don't already have Nearby Share turned on, then you will get a pop-up to turn on your Nearby Share. Press yes. It will also ask your permission for Bluetooth and WiFi. Tap on Accept.

turn on nearby share

The phone you want to transfer the file to should also have its Google Play Services Nearby Share feature turned on. You can do this by going to the Notification Bar by swiping down and pressing on the Neary Share icon.

notification bar

Step 4: Select the device
Next, the Nearby Feature will search for any nearby devices that you can share. If all your permissions are correct, then your device should show up here. Remember to set your device to be discoverable to Everyone or Contacts Only, depending on what you want.

nearby devices

Step 5: Accept the File
After you have tapped on the device you want to share the file to, you should get a pop-up on the receiving device asking you if you want to receive the file. Press Accept and the file should transfer.

recieve file

Part 3: What To Do If Your Google Nearby Share Isn't Working

Though Nearby Share is pretty efficient and reliable, it can at times not work properly. Usually, it's just a case of permissions, and your device isn't discoverable. But at other times, it could be a glitch or a problem in the network. Whatever the issue, you can always use a file-sharing app or just Bluetooth to transfer your files if Nearby Share isn't working.

Way 1: Check Permissions

One of the most common reasons why your Nearby Share isn't working is that your device doesn't show up when you want to transfer the files. Make sure that both of your devices have Nearby Share turned on and that both your devices are discoverable.

You can do this by swiping down on your home screen to access the Notification bar. Press on the Nearby Share option to turn it on. Then you should get a pop that asks you whether you want your device to be visible to Everyone, Contacts Only, or Hidden. Select the option you want and see if the problem is fixed.


Way 2: Use AirDroid Personal

If your Nearby Share isn't working try a file-sharing app like AirDroid Personal. Simply download the app on both devices and create an account.

Once you have it up and running on your device, you should see an AirDroid option when you want to share files. It's very easy and convenient.

Part 4: AirDroid Personal Features

Not only does AirDroid Personal work across all devices, but it also has its Nearby feature that works in the same way Nearby Share or AirDrop does. So let's check out some features of AirDroid and why it's the best file transfer app.

Nearby Feature

Nearby is AirDroid's latest feature. It's the best alternative to Google Nearby Share or Apple's AirDrop. With the latest version of AirDroid, you can use the Nearby feature to share files even if there is no internet.

As long as you are close to the other device, and both of them have the latest AirDroid app, then you can transfer files with a direct connection without any hassle.


One App Fits All

The main problem with both AirDrop and Nearby Share is that it doesn't work across all platforms. AirDrop only works with iOS and Nearby Share with only Google devices. There is no Google Nearby Share iPhone.

AirDroid on the other hand works for MAC, Windows, iOS, Android, and even iPads. So you can use one app for all devices.

Chatting Feature

What's cool about AirDroid is that it even has a chatting feature. You can converse with your friends about the pictures you've saved and have relevant conversations in one place.

It's sort of like the social media of file sharing. There's no need to use one app for transferring photos and then using another to talk about those photos.

Screen Mirroring

You can also use AirDroid to mirror your Android phones to a bigger screen like your laptop, computer, or even your Smart TV.

Use this feature to play games on a bigger screen or watch movies. You can even use it for online teaching or learning and use it as a board to do presentations.

Remote Control

As long as you have provided permission, you can use your AirDroid app to remotely control another Android device from far away.

You don't need to root your phone or do anything special. It's easy and hassle-free. This is especially helpful if your phone is broken and your touch screen doesn't work.

Remote Monitoring

If all of that wasn't enough, there's also a remote monitoring feature that allows you to use old phones as a camera or a one-way audio device.

You can use it to monitor kids while you work or use it to supervise outside the house as well. There are many different uses.

Part 5: Conclusion

Google Nearby Share is an amazing feature for all Android users. It makes file transfer secure and convenient. It's very easy to use as well, once you get used to it. But the only drawback is that it works with Android/Google devices only. So if you want a solution that works across all platforms, using a file transfer app like AirDroid Personal might be a better option.


How close do you have to be to Nearby Share?
Google Nearby Share should work as long as both devices are within a foot of each other. Since it uses Bluetooth technology, it's best if the devices are close together.
How to download the Google nearby share apk?
There is no Google Nearby Share download option, as it's a feature that Google has rolled out for Android phones. So if your phone's software is up to date, it should automatically be available for you.
Which phones have Nearby Share by Google?
All Android phones running on Android 6 and above should have the Nearby Share feature. All-new Android phones will have it by default. Google is even trying to roll out this feature to older models as well, but that might take a little while.
Is there a Google Nearby Share for PC?
Not at the moment. But Google is planning to bring Nearby Share to PC in the future. So, if you want to share files with your PC, you can use Airdroid which already supports PC and Mac devices.
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