Apple’s incredibly convenient and well done AirDrop feature is a very easy way to send files between Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads and Macs (via 9to5Google). Android has never had an equivalent feature but Google is working on bringing one, Nearby Sharing, to market.
Many had assumed the Bluetooth sharing function would be limited to Android but there is a new hint that suggests Google is looking to build it into other operating systems. Chrome reporter Dinsan tweeted that he found a Nearby Sharing toggle in the settings on his Chromebook:
— Dinsan (@_dinsan)
June 19, 2020
As it happens the toggle did not enable the feature to work, but if it’s showing up in the latest builds of Chrome OS then it is likely it will crop up when Google officially launches it.
Excitingly, clicking on the flag in the settings app reportedly refers to Nearby Sharing for Windows, Mac and Linux versions of Chrome. So while the operating systems themselves might not be supported, running the Chrome browser on them might enable a cross-platform sharing system for a whole host of devices through Google’s Chrome browser.
Despite this news its still unclear if Nearby Sharing will be a file-focussed feature like AirDrop or whether it’ll assume another form. Given it works via Chrome it might be a more limited function when using a Mac or Windows PC, but we hope not.