How To Use Google Nearby Share

Google Nearby Share AM AH 2 1
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Google's AirDrop clone, Nearby Share is finally here. And it is available for all devices running Android 6.0 or later. Which effectively means that everyone with an Android device has Nearby Share now.

But how exactly do you use it? Well it's pretty simple. And that's kind of the whole point of Google introducing this new feature. Especially since it is rolling out to virtually every single Android device on the planet, and not being an Android 11 feature – as we once thought.

Where is Nearby Share?

Nearby Share lives in the Share sheet, naturally. So you would access it just like you would to copy a link, or share to Twitter, etc.

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There will be a button that lives next to the "Copy" button on the share sheet, that you can tap to get started.

Another way to get started is scrolling down in the share sheet and finding "Nearby Share" in the apps list. Or, you can add the Nearby Share toggle to your quick settings too.

So there's three ways to get started here.

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How do I use Nearby Share?

Tap on Nearby Share in any of the three ways we mentioned above.

From there, you will see a new screen that will ask you to adjust settings before turning on Nearby Share. These include your device's name, which you can change there. As well as Device Visibility.

how to nearby share
Turn on Nearby Share

There are three options for Device Visibility. You can opt to have it show to all of your contacts – of course, only those that are actually near you will get the notification. You can also choose "Some Contacts" and hit the toggle for each contact in your list. Or choose hidden. No one will see your device, except those that have Nearby Share open already, and waiting on a file.

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Nearby Contacts Visibility Settings

After you've adjusted your settings, tap on "Turn On". It's the blue button in the lower right-hand corner.

Now, Nearby Share is on and looking for nearby devices.

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Nearby Share On

Devices that are nearby will see a notification saying that a device nearby is sharing.

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how to nearby share
Nearby Sharing Notification

Once the user of that device taps the notification, you will see it appear on your device – it'll show the persons name and their Google profile picture. So you know you are sharing with the right person.

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Nearby Sharing Contacts

Tap on that picture. Then the other person needs to accept the transfer.

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A device is sharing

Once that is done, it will automatically send over the file, link or whatever you are trying to send.

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There seems like there's a lot of steps, but after the first run, it's pretty easy to do. And it's seamless which is really nice.

The good thing about this is that people won't be spamming you with stuff, like we see quite a bit with AirDrop actually, especially among teenagers. Both the sender and receiver have to confirm the transfer before it actually works.