Google updates Nearby Share making it easier to share files across your own devices

When launched back in 2020, Nearby Share’s main objective was to make the sending of pictures and videos to those around you much easier. While this has its own various benefits, self-sharing your media across your own devices, has its own merits and Google has worked to ensure this is more seamless with the new update.

Since you are sharing your own files to another device that you have your Google account logged in, Google is making this process even easier than before. Once you have selected the file that you want to share, can even be a URL or Wi-Fi password, the Nearby Share sheet will open as before then the phones, tablets and Chromebooks which are logged into your Google Account will appear behind a separator at the left. Choosing any of your devices will cause the transfer to be automatically accepted.

The transfer will work even when the other device’s screen is off. However, the device will receive a notification on what was sent over. To this effect, Google has added “Your devices” as a visibility setting in Nearby Share, joining the other two settings, “Everyone” and “Contacts”

Google notes on its blog that the update is not yet live, however, it will be rolled out over the next few weeks with only devices running Android 6 and above being eligible for the update

While the Android 6 and above requirement locks out a wide range of devices, the tech giant explains that they are working hard to bring Nearby Share to other devices including those rocking a different operating system like Windows PCs.

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Google incorporates different standards in Nearby Share to ensure that it can still work without an internet connection. Some of the standards leveraged include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, UWB and WebRTC.

If you have selected your visibility to “Everyone” you can choose to have it there temporarily or permanently. With the setting on temporarily, it will revert to your previously last used setting, either “Your devices” or “Contacts” when a certain amount of time passes. With the setting on permanently, Nearby Share will periodically send you notifications in case you want to change it.

Under “Contacts” you can still fine-tune whether you want your device visible to all your contacts, or just a small section of them that you can hand-pick. The last option, “Your devices” allows you to be only visible to other devices that are logged into your account as already touched upon.

Google concludes by mentioning that for added privacy, your Google account profile image will only be visible to people in your contact list. Others will see a generic device icon next to the device name you choose for yourself.

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Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at Twitter @KarisNaftaly