Google is set to launch its Nearby Share feature for Windows today, following a successful beta test in March this year. Designed to improve the ease and efficiency of file transfers between Android devices and Windows PCs, the feature has seen several improvements in its trial period, including boosted speed and reliability.
Addressing Transfer Issues
The beta testing allowed Google to identify and address several issues that were causing crashes and compromising transfer success rates. This has resulted in a substantial increase in the overall effectiveness of Nearby Share, which now enjoys an active user base of over 1.7 million individuals, with over 50 million files having been transferred since the beta launched.
Popular File Types
- Audio files
Photos and videos unsurprisingly emerged as the most popular file types transferred using Nearby Share. The feature also supports the transfer of documents, audio files, and folders.
As part of today’s stable launch, Google has introduced a new feature that shows the estimated time required for file transfers. This will be particularly beneficial when sending large files like videos or entire folders. Users will see a message stating “Less than X minutes left” along with a circular indicator and other existing estimates.
In addition to the time estimation feature, Google has updated the Nearby Share notifications to show an image preview. This enhancement aims to help users confirm what’s been received and where it’s saved.
Manufacturer Partnership and Compatibility
Looking ahead, Google is teaming up with manufacturers to incorporate Nearby Share into select Windows PCs. HP is one of the first partners, with its Dragonfly Pro set to feature the app. As Google continues to refine and enhance Nearby Share, users can anticipate new functionality additions.
Nearby Share requires a 64-bit version of Windows 10 or above and is currently incompatible with ARM devices. For a successful transfer, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi or Ethernet need to be enabled, and both devices must be on the same network and within about 16 feet, or 5 meters, of each other. Visibility options include Everyone, Contacts, Your Devices, and No One, with the middle two options requiring a Google Account sign-in.
How to Use Nearby Share
Nearby Share is already integrated into Android devices running Android 6 and above. Windows users will need to download the app. Once installed, sign into your Google account and check your Device Visibility preferences. Ensure that Bluetooth, location, and Nearby Share are turned on in your device’s settings app. To initiate file sharing, simply right-click and share the file. Look for nearby devices, and select the device to share with.
Notifications for incoming file shares will pop up, which you’ll have to accept. If you wish to accept the file, click Accept; otherwise, decline the request. Google advises that each device should turn on airplane mode and then turn it off again in case of any difficulties. Also, ensure that the devices are physically close.
This new way to connect your Windows PC to an Android device for seamless file sharing marks a significant milestone in Google’s quest for a more integrated digital ecosystem. As the company continues to roll out improvements and additional functionality, users can expect a continually improving experience.