Close sharing is the answer to Apple’s AirDrop that Android users have been waiting for: a universal method for sharing links, photos and files between devices. Here’s how to set it up and start sharing.
There are many apps that you can use to share things on Android. The problem is that the recipient has to use the same app. Nearby Share is like AirDrop on iPhone, iPad and Mac. It is built into (almost) all Android devices, and there is no need to download a separate app.
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Close Sharing is compatible with all Android 6.0+ devices. Google Pixel and Samsung devices are the first to get it. The feature is baked into phones via Google Play Services, a component of Android devices that comes with the Google Play Store. To get started, let̵7;s keep Play Services up to date.
Check if you have a split nearby
Open Google on your Android device and search for “Google Play Services”. Click on the results from Google Play Services in the “Apps” section.
This will take you to the app’s Play Store list. Click the “Refresh” button if you see it.
Then open the “Settings” menu on your Android phone. You can either swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the “Gear” icon or open the list of apps from the home screen and find the “Settings” app. From there, select the “Google” option.
Scroll down, select “Device Connections” and then look for “Share Nearby.”
If “Share Nearby” is displayed, we can proceed to set it.
Set up Android nearby
Open the Settings menu on your Android phone. You can swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the “Gears” icon or find the Settings app in the app drawer after pulling up on the home screen. From there, press the “Google” option.
Go to device connections> Share nearby.
Toggle the switch at the top of the screen to activate Share nearby (if not already).
Click “Device Name” to rename your Android handset.
You can now select “Device Visibility” to adjust the privacy settings.
There are three visibility options to choose from:
- All contacts: All your contacts with Share Nearby can see your device. You will be able to see all nearby units with nearby sharing open.
- Some contacts: You choose which contacts will be able to see your device. You will be able to see all nearby units with nearby sharing open.
- Hidden: No one can see your device. You will be able to see all nearby units with nearby sharing open.
“All Contacts” and “Hidden” do not require additional installation.
If you use “Some contacts”, you must select contacts separately. Scroll down and tap the switch next to a connector so they can see your device.
Return to the previous screen where your device visibility has been made.
Click “Data” and select the data usage option that suits your needs. After making a selection, press “Refresh” or “Cancel.”
Use Android nearby
Now you’re ready to share something with Share Nearby. First, you need to find a receiving device that also has Sharing nearby, has the screen on, and has Bluetooth and location services enabled.
Sharing nearby can be initiated from a number of different locations. In this example, we are trying to share a link.
Open any browser, such as Chrome, on your Android phone and tap the three-point menu icon.
Then select the “Share” button.
This will show the apps / shortcuts you can use to share. Find “Close Sharing” in the list and tap it.
Depending on your device and the item you are sharing, Near Sharing may also appear as a shortcut as shown below.
Sharing nearby starts looking for nearby devices.
The receiving device receives a message saying “The nearby device is sharing.” The recipient can then tap the message to be visible to the sender.
When the receiving device is visible, it is displayed on the sending device. Select it from the list.
The receiving device will now be prompted to “Accept” or “Reject” the incoming item, which in this case is a link that appears at the top of the screen.
That’s all! The link has been sent.
Links are an example, but the process is exactly the same for sharing photos and files as well. Just find “Near Sharing” in the sharing menu to use the feature. At the receiving end, you will always be visible and confirm receiving content.