Android’s Answer to AirDrop: Google and Samsung Introduce Seamless File Sharing


Good news for Pixel device users! Android’s version of Apple’s AirDrop, called Nearby Share, is now starting to roll out to Pixel devices. The company announced this feature at CES 2024 earlier this year.

Similar to Apple’s AirDrop, Google’s Nearby Share and Samsung’s Quick Share allow quick file and photo exchanges between nearby devices. However, previously, these functions only worked between devices using the same sharing system. For example, if you had a Samsung Galaxy phone and your friend had a Google Pixel, you had to find a different way to transfer files.

At CES 2024, Google and Samsung announced that Nearby Share will have a change of name to Quick Share. This change was accidentally teased at the end of 2023. The exciting part is that now, Samsung and Google devices can share files with each other. Additionally, they can share with other Nearby Share compatible devices like Chromebooks and other Android phones. This upgrade makes Nearby Share/Quick Share a proper Android version of AirDrop.

Windows Desktops to Get Quick Share in Future Quick Share

In the future, the Quick Share system will also extend its compatibility to Windows machines. A manager from the Quick Share platform at Samsung mentioned that this support will be available by Q3 2024, which translates to July to September. This means that users can anticipate sharing files seamlessly between Quick Share-enabled Samsung and Google devices and Windows machines during this time frame.

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According to Mishaal Rahman, a number of Pixel users are reporting that Quick Share has been rolled out to their devices. Notably, non-Pixel users, including those with Samsung and OnePlus devices, are sharing screenshots displaying the new Quick Share feature.

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While this writer’s Pixel 6 still shows Nearby Share and the change being unavailable on other Pixel phones, it appears that the update is gradually reaching users. A Samsung manager’s post on the community message board, translated from Korean, suggests that Galaxy phones should receive the update by tomorrow.

Additionally, Google plans to complete the rollout of the update to other Android devices between February 2 and February 16, as per information shared by Mishaal Rahman in a recent post. Keep an eye out for this small yet significant update to Android’s sharing system on your devices.

More Features for Samsung Smartphones in Addition to Quick Share Quick Share

In addition to the Quick Share update, Samsung phone users can anticipate several other enhancements with the release of the One UI 6.1 update.

The upcoming changes include lock screen widgets, enhanced battery protection settings, and noteworthy AI photo editing features. These updates will be available for the new Samsung Galaxy S24 phones, as well as the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 FE, Galaxy Z Flip 5, and the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

While Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 devices will also receive some updates, they won’t include the AI features present in the latest models. Keep an eye out for these improvements on your Samsung device when the One UI 6.1 update becomes available.

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