KEY POINTS

  • A report provides evidence that Google's AirDrop rival is coming
  • The evidence also shows the feature as working across many platforms
  • It's too early to conclude anything about it

Apple's AirDrop is a very handy tool for those who need to share files with others. This feature allows users to send files from one Apple device, such as an iPhone, to another Apple device, such as an iPad. It's basically a wireless file transfer feature that works between iOS devices.

A new report from 9To5Google indicates that Google is also working on a feature designed to rival Apple's AirDrop. What's more, the new file sharing feature could work across operating systems, letting Android users send files to Chrome OS device users and vice-versa. This feature is called Nearby Sharing.

Nearby Sharing, earlier referred to as “Fast Share,” will allow Android and Chrome OS users to share files, such as photos, as well as links with each other as long as the devices are near each other. This is evidenced by a toggle that a content strategist named Dinsan Francis found.

According to Dinsan, who is founder of Chrome Story, a website focused on Chromebooks, a toggle for Nearby Sharing can be found in Chromebook settings. Not all Chrome OS versions have this – the toggle was found on the latest build of Chrome OS Canary.

Despite the toggle's presence in the Chromebook settings, however, the feature appears to be a work in progress, and is still unable to function as expected. It can be enabled with a flag in chrome://flags, but enabling the feature in both settings and flags don't do anything except turn the toggle on.

Interestingly, while the feature isn't working yet, it appears that Google is working to make Nearby Sharing work across more devices, not just Android handsets and Chromebooks. 9To5Google noted that the flag's accompanying description points to the feature as also coming to Mac, Linux and Windows versions of Chrome.

This simply means Google is aiming to make Nearby Sharing work for all Chrome users across platforms, whether the device they are using runs on macOS, Linux and Windows 10. That said, it's too early to say how the feature will work, or if it will actually work across all aforementioned operating systems.

android-994910_1920 Android Photo: pixabay