According to 9To5Google, Google is reportedly testing a new feature called Fast share. This feature will let you Android users to wirelessly share media of any kind using Bluetooth and Wifi-Direct. The feature works in par with Apple’s AirDrop functionality but accepts cross-platform sharing between multiple devices like Chromebooks, iPhones, Android and more.
Google has also confirmed that they will let go of Android beam from Android Q. Android beam is a feature to share data between Android devices using NFC.
9To5Google says “Google is now working on an alternative named “Fast Share” that’s similar to Apple’s AirDrop on iOS and Mac. However, a more immediate comparison in terms of functionality and even interface is the standalone Files by Google app”.
Moreover, one will also be able to share URLs and snippets of text — “to nearby devices without internet.” One will find this feature in the Share Sheet, coupled with a few other sharing methods. This is also available in your phone’s Settings app. You just need to navigate to Google > Fast Share.
Android beam was initially launched with Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich back in 2011. The features were not too popular and weren’t being used much. A similar app having same functionality is also available as Files Go by Google. This app has to be downloaded from the Play Store. Fast Share may get more popularity since it will be a native functionality baked inside Android Q.
The exact launch date of the feature isn’t out yet but since Android Q beta is already out, users can expect the same to be rolled out for other versions of Android since its a Google Play feature. As far as safety and security are concerned, Fast Share lets you give “Preferred Visibility” to people that are frequent senders. Settings for the feature are available in the top-right corner of the main sharing interface.
For this feature to work, your device needs to be in close proximity to the device. One will get a notification to “Accept” or “Decline” the file, and witness details like “Device name” and “connection ID.” Furthermore, the feature will also show you a fullscreen UI of what is being shared as well as a circular progress icon.