Google has introduced a Windows app that will bring Android’s “Nearby Share” feature to desktops. This new program aims to simplify file sharing between Windows and Android devices, allowing users to transfer files with just a few clicks and taps.
Google’s Nearby Share feature has been a part of Android devices for several years. While Nearby Share allows for local file transfers over Wi-Fi, it has been challenging to use due to the prevalence of internet-based file sharing and the fact that most users only have one Android device. However, with the new Windows app, many Android users with PCs can now take advantage of the feature.
The process of using the new Nearby Share Windows app from Google is quite simple. Firstly, download the app from the Android website and complete the installation process by following a few simple steps. The app is compatible only with 64-bit Windows PCs that have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Once installed, sharing files between your Android device and Windows PC is just a matter of dragging and dropping the file on Windows or using the “Nearby Share” option on your Android device.
You can choose to sign in to the Windows app or not, with the former option allowing you to set up auto-accept for transactions from yourself, anyone in your contacts, or everyone (which may not be advisable). Without signing in, you’ll have to approve every transaction manually on both devices.
Google has stated that you can transfer a variety of files such as photos, videos, documents, audio files, or even entire folders between your Android device and Windows PC using Nearby Share. We tested the feature and found it to be a fast and efficient method of transferring files over Wi-Fi.
Google’s release of the Nearby Share app for Windows enters a crowded market of software designed to improve the connection between Android phones and Windows computers. While the app allows for easy file transfers between devices, it requires both devices to be unlocked, in close proximity, and have Bluetooth on. For those interested in simply transferring files between their own computers, existing sync-style apps like Dropbox and Google Drive offer a simpler solution with fewer steps.
When it comes to sharing files between multiple devices, most people prefer using the self-hosted SyncThing, which can effortlessly sync files to both desktops and phones. Unlike Dropbox and Google Drive, which only sync files between computers, SyncThing can automatically download files to your phone. While some third-party apps can also do this, opting for a 24/7 automatic syncing setup is less work in the long run, as your files will be available on every computer without any manual effort.
Microsoft has been offering Windows-Android solutions for almost seven years now, and its latest solution, called “Link to Windows” or “Phone Link,” provides a more extensive linking system between your phone and PC. This system allows you to transfer files easily, as well as see and respond to notifications, use phone apps on your PC, and make calls. It’s worth noting that this solution is only useful for connecting two devices that you own, but it’s quite impressive.
Certain Android skins come with built-in Windows-Android apps. Examples include Lenovo/Motorola’s “Ready For” and Samsung’s integration of Microsoft’s solution.
While there are other solutions for syncing files between your own devices, Google’s Nearby Share is a great option for quickly transferring files to a computer that isn’t yours. You can easily install the app and use it in the guest mode without signing in, which allows for individual approvals for each transfer. This is particularly useful when you need to share a file quickly with someone nearby, without the need for an internet connection. Though Google originally designed the app for Android-to-Android file sharing, it works just as well on Windows.