Chinese mobile giants Vivo, OPPO and Xiaomi have announced a partnership to bring a new wireless file transfer system to their devices. An initiative of the newly formed Peer-to-Peer Transmission Alliance, the system will make cross-brand file transfer easier and faster. Users of Vivo, OPPO and Xiaomi smartphones can transfer files between their devices without needing any third-party app, or data networks.
This wireless transfer feature is already available on Xiaomi smartphones running MIUI 11 with Mi Share. It will be rolled out on new Vivo and OPPO smartphones starting in February 2020. The Alliance is open to welcoming more brands to participate and expand this system in the future.
This system uses Bluetooth for pairing and Wi-Fi P2P (Peer to Peer) or Wi-Fi Direct technology for the data transfer. In case you're wondering, a Wi-Fi P2P connection doesn't interrupt the existing Wi-Fi connection. You can continue using your phone during the file transfer. No mobile data will be used either.
Essentially, this system is designed to work as Apple's Airdrop feature. It supports a wide range of files, including photos, videos, music, documents and more. The Alliance is hoping to achieve an average transfer speed of 20mbps with this new wireless transfer system. This development is also in anticipation of 5G adoption this year, which would significantly increase the average file size.
Interestingly, Realme and OnePlus share the BBK Electronics bloodline with Vivo and OPPO. So they are likely to benefit from this alliance too. Back in August 2019, Realme India CMO Francis Wang confirmed that Realme is also a part of this alliance. However, it's not clear whether the company will be involved directly in this development or only benefit from Vivo and OPPO's involvement.
What about the Android Fast Share?
The AirDrop feature on Apple devices lets users transfer files across iPhones, iPads, and Macs seamlessly. Android, too had such a built-in feature called Android Beam. However, this NFC-based system was rather slow and Google is discontinuing it with Android 10. It is being replaced with a new and much faster method called Fast Share.
Fast Share is under development currently and will be available for devices running Android 10 or higher when ready. This system also uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to quickly share files between two Android devices. It could well make Vivo, OPPO and Xiaomi's initiative supernumerary.
In AirDrop, files being transferred are encrypted when they are in transit. While Fast Share is expected to have the same level of security, it's unclear whether Peer-to-Peer Transmission Alliance's solution will also share files over an encrypted network.