Google “Self Share” option for Share spotted nearby could soon enable AirDrop-like seamless transfers

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Google is reportedly working on an update to its Nearby Share feature, which will allow users to quickly share files with themselves across devices. The feature, which first launched in 2020, uses Google Play Services to enable fast file transfers from one device to another. The new “Self Share” feature could allow users to seamlessly share files between two of their devices, similar to Apple’s AirDrop feature offered on its iOS and macOS devices. Google has yet to officially announce details about this feature or when it will be available.

The latest version of Google Play Services details a feature called Self Share, which allows users to transfer files between two devices without having to confirm the transfer on the receiving device, Esper’s Mishaal Rahman discovered. In a screenshot shared from an Android 12 smartphone, the Nearby Share quick settings menu includes a your devices option (instead of the existing Hidden Option), next to Options for Anyone and contacts. Although the new option hasn’t rolled out yet, Rahman says it’s present in the latest version of Google Play Services.

The self-share feature, which allows a user to send a file to themselves without having to confirm that they want to receive the file, requires a user to be signed in to the same Google account on both devices, like as shown in the screenshot, which says “You don’t need to approve sharing from your devices”. Currently, Android users who want to share a file from their smartphone to their tablet (and vice versa) via Nearby Share cannot do so seamlessly like Apple’s AirDrop feature for iOS and macOS devices.

The self-share feature, first spotted on the Chromium Gerrit in January, detailing changes and additions to Chrome and Chrome OS source code, has yet to roll out on ChromeOS, Google’s operating system for Chromebooks, and is currently allowing users the Transfer files to and from Android devices using Nearby Share, but users still need to approve transfers.

Meanwhile, another screenshot shared by Rahman suggests so Hidden Option on Nearby Share might be removed if the your devices Added option and users must use a new one device visibility toggle in settings instead. Google has yet to officially release the self-share feature or release any information on how it will work. However, since the feature is already included in the latest version of Google Play Services, Google could announce the feature at its upcoming Google I/O conference, which will be held virtually in May.

While Self Share is part of Google Play Services and will likely require an Android or ChromeOS device to operate, Google announced during CES 2022 that it was working with companies like Acer, HP and Intel to bring Fast Pair and Nearby Share Bringing features to Windows PCs later this year means that in the future users may also be able to seamlessly share files between their Windows PC or laptop and their phone.

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