Tech giant Google has made its Files Go files sharing app for Android easier to use than ever while also adding in some features that make things faster and more secure as well. Specifically, nearby sharing now has its own dedicated tab, offline sharing will automatically default to the fastest available sharing standard, devices can now sync up in only five seconds on average, and the mobile app will now verify connections and encrypt traffic for extra security. The update is available for any device running Android 5.0 Lollipop and up, including older 32-bit handsets and tavlets. Any two devices running the app can connect, regardless of differences in Android version. It is worth noting, however, that this feature does not allow transfer between Android devices and Chromebooks or PCs running the Chrome browser or an Android emulator, except within the confines of the sandboxed space created for Android.
The new sharing tab is laid out simply; tap the send button to set up a quick hotspot that other users of the app nearby will be able to find, or tap the receive button to latch onto a friend running the app near you and get files from them. You'll be shown a list of nearby devices, and you'll be able to pick which one you want to connect to. Rather than having you choose how to connect and send the files, the mobile app will automatically pick the fastest compatible standard. If both phones support Wi-Fi Direct and have 5GHz Wi-Fi capabilities, for instance, that's how files will be sent. According to Google, test users have been seeing speeds nearing 500 megabits per second using this update.
This functionality essentially makes Files Go the de facto way to share files between Android devices, but it was already quite useful. On top of being able to share files with other nearby users, Files Go doubles as a comprehensive tool to help you save space on your device. The front page gives you options to get rid of excess files or backed-up photos and videos via Google Photos, and the middle Browse tab shows you a categorical view of the things taking up space on your device so you can decide what to delete and what to keep.