Android will have an equivalent to Apple’s AirDrop file sharing

Apple’s AirDrop might finally get some competition from Google.

Google appears to be working on a new and simple way to share files between a variety of devices, including Android and Chromebooks. The 9to5Google team has managed to enable an upcoming Fast Share feature on Android that, like AirDrop, would use a combination of Bluetooth and WiFi to send files and even text snippets to nearby people. Turn it on and you can see nearby Fast Share-enabled devices, with transfers taking just a couple of taps.

There are a few key differences. It doesn’t appear that you can limit transfers to your contacts, but you can specify “Preferred Visibility” so that favorites see you even when you’re not using Fast Share. The sample recipients in the Fast Share screen suggest this might be available on Chromebooks, iOS devices and even Wear OS smartwatches, although we wouldn’t count on all of those being available whenever the feature goes public. An iOS version would require a special app.

It’s not certain when Fast Share will launch, although it’s a Google Play Services feature and likely wouldn’t require Android Q.

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