Sharing links, files and photos on Android phones is becoming much easier. Google launches its Near Share tool, which lets you share content between local devices without copying in or exchanging contact information. Close Sharing is available on select Pixel and Samsung phones today and will be available on other devices (including Chromebooks) in the coming weeks.
Close sharing is Android̵7;s answer to Apple’s AirDrop tool. You can access it from the phone’s drop-down menu for quick settings or from Share the abundance in your photo viewer or web browser. Share Nearby shows you a list of all nearby devices that you can send content to, even if you’m offline. You have the option to accept or reject files sent to you via Share Nearby.
Google says that Share Share has “integrity at its core”, as it allows people to send and receive files without exchanging contact information. That’s nice, but there are some situations where you do not want pictures from strangers. To adjust your device’s visibility and hide your phone from strangers (or a handful of unsurpassed contacts), simply drag down the quick settings menu, press and hold Share nearby, and select the privacy settings that suit you.
You do not need to update your device or download any apps to use Near Sharing. From now on, the tool will only work with selected Pixel and Samsung devices, but it will eventually land on all devices running Android 6.0+ or Chrome OS. And if you’re wondering, Share Share does not work with iOS.