For years, Android users have been looking longingly at the AirDrop file and sharing super simple links between iOS, macOS and their various components. We know about Google’s next response to this service, nearby sharing, for a moment, but there is good news about it this week. Twitter user spotted nearby sharing settings in the latest developer version of ChromeOS.
– Dinsan (@_dinsan) June 19, 2020
The parameter appears after an indicator in chrome: // flags (a semi-hidden parameters tool) is returned. Unfortunately, it seems to be doing nothing at the moment. But inclusion in ChromeOS indicates that the feature will allow Android devices to share directly with ChromeOS laptops and tablets, and possibly anything that runs the full version of the Chrome browser. This represents hundreds of millions (maybe over a billion at this point) of desktops, laptops, full-power tablets, etc.
Nearby sharing would allow almost instant sharing of files, text, links and other small pieces of data over local networks, which can extend to mobile connections if devices can say they are in the same neighborhood . It is similar to the low friction AirDrop transfers between iOS and Mac users, which set the standard for convenience.
Nearby sharing is expected to arrive in the final version of Android 11, which is expected to debut with the latest Pixel phones around the start of the fourth quarter of the year. Naturally, all of this is not confirmed by Google. It wouldn’t be the first time that a clearly developing Android or Chrome feature was a no show.