There has been an ongoing project at Google for the past few months that has never been announced: the AirDrop version of Android. We broke the news first, and now Google has apparently renamed the Android feature to “Nearby Sharing.”
Spotted by XDA-Developers, it appears that Google has renamed what was previously known as “Fast Share.” With the latest update to Google Play Services, “Fast Share” has been quietly rebranded as “Nearby Sharing” on Android.
The feature itself has slightly changed since it was first spotted with some aspects being updated or altered as Google is planning it for a proper launch. Google has also updated the icon for this service since, as it tries to tweak things.
Ironically, this latest update has also brought out a new disclaimer. Obviously, Nearby Sharing will only work if the two devices are close to each other — Google mentions “within 1 ft.” Whether this is a strict requirement is unclear but this may help resolve a minor complaint AirDrop Apple has where users may send files to nearby iPhones and iPads from a fair distance. That being said, requiring devices to be so close to each other could end up being an obstacle.
Right now, when Google launchs “Nearby Sharing” on Android, it’s still largely unknown. It seems that things are progressing well behind the scenes, but there is still no clear window for the launch. Some thought the app will make its debut alongside the Google Pixel 4, but now there is no clear place for the feature to debut. Maybe we’ll get it in May at I / O 2020? Your assumption is as good as ours.