Last month, Google announced its Nearby Share service would be coming to Windows but did not say when. Well, the company is now moving ahead and says Nearby Share Beta is now available globally for Windows users. The app is compatible with Windows computers running a 64-bit version of Windows 10 and Windows 11, and requires Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Nearby Share is Google's answer to Apple's AirDrop, which lets users quickly and easily transfer photos, videos, documents and more between nearby devices.
Google introduced Nearby Share in 2020 as a service that lets users share files across Android devices and Chromebooks with ChromeOS. The company announced plans to integrate the service with Windows, but it took almost three years to make it happen.
Windows 11 and Windows 10 users can now try Google Nearby Share Beta. This is a feature that lets users share files and links with Android devices and Chromebooks easily. Microsoft has a similar app called Phone Link (previously Your Phone) that allows users to access their smartphone content on their Windows PC. However, Nearby Share is more convenient for transferring files quickly and securely.
Nearby Share vs Phone Link on Windows 11
It is unclear how Nearby Share will affect the ongoing popularity of Phone Link. Both services offer a similar toolset. Although, Microsoft has a deal to provide Phone Link app streaming from Samsung devices. That is a part of the company's far-reaching partnership with Samsung that includes Office apps on Galaxy smartphones and reports that Bing Chat will also come to Samsung devices.
To use Nearby Share, users need to turn it on in Chrome's settings and then right-click on what they want to share. They will see a list of nearby devices that have the feature enabled and can choose one to share with. The other device will get a notification to accept or reject the share.
Nearby Share uses different technologies like Bluetooth, WebRTC, or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to send data privately and safely. The feature does not need any extra software or hardware and works across different platforms, such as Android, Chrome OS, and Windows.
Tip of the day: The Windows Sandbox gives Windows 10/11 Pro and Enterprise users a safe space to run suspicious apps without risk. In our tutorial we show you how to enable the Windows Sandbox feature.