Today we are going to explain how can you share a file from an Android mobile to another Android mobile that is in the vicinity, with Nearby Sharing or Share with Nearby, a new method that is now being activated on all mobiles with Android version 6.0 or higher.

We will tell you first what is Nearby Sharing and how it works, and then explain step by step how is the process to send a file from one mobile to another using this system, which is, broadly speaking, the Android version of Apple’s Airdrop.

What is ‘Share with Nearby’

There are a lot of ways to send files from one mobile to another: with applications, with Bluetooth, using Wi-Fi and via NFC are just some of them. Nearby Sharing is a very easy way to send files from one mobile to another without worrying about which technology to use, as long as both mobiles are in close proximity.

The main advantage of Nearby Sharing is that no need internet connection to send files and that, although for the user it is very easy to use, the system chooses which is the best technology to send the file, taking into account the speed and stability.

To work, Nearby Sharing uses the Bluetooth Low Energy standard to find nearby mobiles and send the request that you want to send the file. If the user on the other mobile agrees to receive it, then the system choose the best technology to send the file: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or WebRTC.

How to activate ‘Share with Nearby’

To send files with Nearby Sharing (or Share with Nearby) you do not need any previous configuration, but in order to receive them you need to activate it in the options of your mobile. Otherwise, your mobile will not appear as a possible destination to send files to the other person.

To activate Share with Nearby, you need to go to your mobile settings and enter the Google section (1). Then go to the device’s Connections menu (2) and, finally, tap on Share with Nearby (3).

what it is, how it is activated and how to use it to send files between nearby Android phones

Then comes the time to flip the switch to make your mobile visible to nearby mobiles, although not for everyone. The default setting for Share with Nearby is that your mobile will be visible only to your contacts.

what it is, how it is activated and how to use it to send files between nearby Android phones

You do not need to adjust anything else, but if you want you can do some additional settings in the screen above to restrict who can send you files with this system or if you want data to be used:

  • Device Name: Here you can choose with what name you want your mobile to appear to other people.

  • Device visibility: Here you can choose whether your mobile is visible to all your contacts, to some of your contacts or to no one.

  • Data: Finally, here you can choose if you want Share with Nearby to use mobile data to send small files, to use data only when connected to a Wi-Fi network, or to never use data in any case.

How to send files with ‘Share with Nearby’

Sending files with Share with Nearby is very easy, as it uses the same system that is used to share with any other application: the share menu. For example, to send a photo to another person using Share with Nearby, you must open it in the gallery application of your mobile and click on the share button (1). From the list of apps to share, choose Share with Nearby (two).

what it is, how it is activated and how to use it to send files between nearby Android phones

Now, if you have not activated Share with Nearby manually as we mentioned before, the first thing that will happen is that You will be prompted to enable Share with Nearby. Also included is a summary of the name of your device and who can find your device. Press Activate.

what it is, how it is activated and how to use it to send files between nearby Android phones

The mobile will then search for devices with Share with Nearby active in the vicinity, using Bluetooth. After a few seconds it should appear to you the name of the mobile you want to send the file to. Tap on it.

what it is, how it is activated and how to use it to send files between nearby Android phones

For your part, you do not need to do anything else. The process continues in the mobile you want to send the file to, you will receive a notification that someone is using Share with Nearby in the immediate vicinity (1). When the other person clicks on the name of your mobile, you will receive the notification that someone wants to send you a file, where you must press Accept (2).

what it is, how it is activated and how to use it to send files between nearby Android phones

Google has officially announced Share with Nearby and the feature is being activated right now on all mobiles Android with version 6.0 or higher and the plan for more device support to be added soon. If it still does not appear, it is possible that it will in the next few days. Note that the system is a bit green, so it fails in some cases.