Android Nearby Sharing debuts, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra first non-Pixel smartphone to get it

Google’s speedy file sharing service, dubbed Android Nearby Sharing, is ready for prime time.

The feature started rolling out on August 4th to several devices.

According to Google, only eligible devices running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and newer versions will have access to the feature.

At the moment, it is limited to just Google’s own Pixel devices as well as select Samsung devices.

For Samsung devices, the newly-launched Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is one of those that support Nearby Sharing right out of the box. This is because the smartphone comes with ultra-wideband (UWB) technology which allows devices to send data over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other wireless protocols using high-frequency short-range signals.

According to Google, the feature will make “it easier to instantly share files, links, pictures and more with people around you, all while protecting your privacy.”

The Airdrop like feature allows users some much-needed privacy by letting them choose whether to be visible to users of devices near them, to be visible to only their contacts or stay invisible altogether. When a file transfer to or from a nearby device is initiated, the user on the other end is notified to accept or reject the transfer. “Share then automatically chooses the best protocol for fast and easy sharing using Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC or peer-to-peer WiFi — allowing you to share even when you’re fully offline.”

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Unlike Apple’s solution which works across Macs, iPhones and iPad, Google’s Nearby Sharing feature is limited to Android devices at the moment with support for Chromebooks set to be added later on.

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