The need to be able to share files between cellphones is as old as the cellphone itself. Where any two gadgets exist, there has always been a need to transfer or share files between them.
One of the most recent is Nearby Share, a technology developed by Google. Before now, we had infra-red, then Bluetooth, among others. What is this new way to transfer files, how does it work, and which smartphones does it work with?
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What is Nearby Share?
Nearby Share is a feature that allows you to share files, links, and other content with nearby devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, without the need for an internet connection. It is developed by Google and is available on Android, ChromeOS, and Windows devices.
The file transfer speed depends on several factors, such as the size and type of the file, the distance and signal strength between the devices, and the mode of transfer (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi). It can transfer files at speeds ranging from 1-2 Mbps (Bluetooth) to 23 Mbps (Wi-Fi). However, this may vary depending on the actual conditions and settings of the devices.
When you share a file using Google Nearby Share, it first uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location permissions. But it turns off Bluetooth after the pairing request and uses Wi-Fi to transfer files which is faster. Where Wi-Fi is not available during a transfer, it is done via Bluetooth.
It works between devices in close proximity. Both Devices must be within 16 feet (5m) of each other with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. You can even tap both devices together to send files. Also, you can transfer up to 500 files at once.
Dos Nearby Share require Bluetooth?
Yes, it uses Bluetooth to scan for nearby devices.
Does Nearby Share work on iPhone?
No, it does not work on iPhone. Nearby Share was developed by Google for Android, ChromeOS, and Windows devices. It allows you to share files, links, and other content with nearby devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, without the need for an internet connection.
iPhone has a similar feature called AirDrop, which lets you wirelessly send your photos, videos, websites, locations, and more to other nearby devices and Mac computers. AirDrop also uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but it requires you to be signed in with your Apple ID.
Is it compatible with AirDrop?
These two file transfer services are not compatible with each other, so you cannot use them to share files between iPhone and Android devices.
How fast is it?
Nearby Share can transfer files at speeds ranging from 1-2 Mbps (when using Bluetooth) to 23 Mbps (when using Wi-Fi). If you are not getting more than 2 Mbps speeds when sharing files, you definitely need to look at the settings of the devices.
How fast is AirDrop compared to it?
AirDrop is known for its fast transfer speed, which can be up to 1 Gbps per second. Nearby Share’s transfer speed is slower, at up to 23 Mbps per second. AirDrop is the faster technology.
How to send files using Nearby Share
Fokkow these steps to transfer files from one Android smartphone to another using Nearby Share:
- On your device, open Settings and tap on Connected devices.
- Tap on Connection preferences and select Nearby Share.
- Turn on the toggle to Use Nearby Share and set your device visibility settings. You can choose to be visible to everyone nearby, only your contacts, or hidden.
- On the device you want to share with, follow the same steps to enable Nearby Share and set the visibility settings.
- To share a file, link, or other content, open the app that contains it and tap on the Share icon.
- Select Nearby Share from the list of options and wait for your device to find the nearby device.
- Tap on the name of the device you want to share with and wait for the other device to accept the request.
- Once the transfer is complete, you will see a confirmation message on both devices.
How to make sure that it uses Wi-Fi to transfer files
To make sure that Nearby Share uses Wi-Fi to transfer files (which is faster), you need to change the data usage settings on your device. Here are the steps to do so:
- Open Settings and click on System.
- Click on Shared experiences.
- Under “Nearby sharing,” click on the Data usage option.
- Select the Wi-Fi only option.
This will prevent it from using your mobile data or Bluetooth to transfer files. However, this also means that you can only share files with devices that are connected to the same Wi-Fi network as you.
If you want to share files with devices that are not on the same Wi-Fi network, you can choose the Wi-Fi or mobile data option instead. This will allow Nearby Share to use Wi-Fi Direct, which creates a secure connection between the devices without requiring an internet connection. However, this may consume your mobile data if Wi-Fi is not available.