Google has announced the launch of Nearby Share Beta for Windows, a feature that lets users share files and links with nearby Android devices. The feature is currently available in select regions for users who have Chrome 94 or later installed on their PCs.
Nearby Share was initially launched in 2020 as a way to share files between Android devices and Chromebooks running ChromeOS. Google said at the time it was working on a Windows integration of the service, but it has taken nearly three years to arrive.
Nearby Share works similarly to Apple's AirDrop, allowing users to quickly and easily share content with nearby devices without using the internet. Users can choose to share with everyone nearby, only their contacts, or remain hidden. Users can also adjust their device name and visibility settings in Chrome.
Google Nearby Share Beta is available for Windows 11 and Windows 10. It is worth noting Microsoft already has a similar tool known as Phone Link (previously Your Phone). It is a bridging application that lets users view and use their smartphone on their Windows desktop. Phone Link provides access to images, documents, messages, and other content from phone to PC.
How Nearby Share Beta Works
Nearby Share is arguably a better tool if you want to move files seamlessly to or from an Android device. To use the feature, users need to enable the feature in Chrome's settings and then right-click on the file or link they want to share. They will see a list of devices that have Nearby Share enabled and can select the one they want to share with. The recipient will get a notification to accept or decline the share.
Google says Nearby Share uses Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to transfer data securely and privately. The feature does not require any additional software or hardware and works across different platforms, including Android, Chrome OS, and Windows.
Google has not revealed when Nearby Share will be available to all users globally, but says it is working to improve the feature based on user feedback.
Tip of the day: Whether it's for a presentation, song, or YouTube video, at some point in your life you'll need to record audio from your computer. Windows 11 has multiple options to record sound due to its litany of apps. In our tutorial, we show you how to record audio using the built-in Windows 10 Voice Recorder and the freeware audio editor Audacity.