Android 'Fast Share' is Google's answer to Apple's AirDrop

Android 'Fast Share' is Google's answer to Apple's AirDrop
Android Beam was Google's attempt at delivering a seamless local sharing feature on Android devices, in the vein of Apple's AirDrop. Introduced in 2011, Android Beam is an NFC-based system that allows for short-range exchange of data between devices, and with the release of Android Q, it is going away.

To replace Beam, Google is launching Android 'Fast Share' – a new service that has the same core concept—that is, allowing users to locally share files, text, links, and other data between each other—but uses Bluetooth and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, instead of NFC.

As spotted by 9to5Mac, the new service is similar to the sharing hub currently available in the Files by Google app. Fast Share is getting integrated into the Android system share sheet and can also be accessed by going to Settings > Google > Fast Share. As indicated in the screenshots (seen below), Google's new sharing method is designed to work between Android devices, Chromebooks, iPhones, and smartwatches.


Android Fast Share is meant to allow for short-range sharing between devices that are not connected to the Internet, so it requires the Bluetooth and Location services to be enabled on both ends. Sharing files is simple – you enter a name for your device, turn on Fast Share, and you see a list of devices available nearby. To send something, simply tap on a device; the recipient will see a prompt to accept or decline the transfer—much like when sharing with Bluetooth—and that's it.

There's also the option to give "Preferred Visibility" status to people that you're frequently connecting to with Fast Share. This allows them to see your device when it's nearby, even if you're not currently using the service.

Fast Share is rumored to be launching alongside Android Q, but it may not be limited to the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. It is believed to be a Google Play Services, so we may see Fast Share going live on older devices as well.

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22 Comments

1. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1176; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Will be interesting to see how this is implemented on desktop. Something I love about AirDrop is how it’s seamless between my iPhone , iPad and MacBook Air.

2. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Another example of how far behind stock android is compared to OEM skins. It's quite pathetic actually.

3. Poptart2828

Posts: 458; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Agreed. Easy share from vivo has been around for years now and works incredibly fast

4. AbhiD

Posts: 851; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Shows you limited understanding rather. There is no OEM skin that has "proper" inbuilt software. And likes of S Beam aren't even close to being as good and fast as likes of Share It, Mi Drop, Xender etc. Moreover these OEM only solutions work only within compatible devices of that OEM, so thereby severely crippling the limit and usefulness. This new solution by google will rather be a great one with probably the widest compatibility dating back to very old devices with functional Google Play Services.

8. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Wrong. Look it up smarta$$. Easy Share is compatible with any device that has WiFi just like Share It but without 200 ads popping up everywhere.

16. AbhiD

Posts: 851; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Hello smarta$$, what if someone wants to send files to a Vivo device? How will easy share be helpful in that? Now go and learn some manners.

17. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

"what if someone wants to send files to a Vivo device?" Jeez, you really don't know what you're talking about do you? Ok, when I want to send/receive something to a non-Vivo phone using Easy Share I first send them the app through the Hotspot it's opened and we're good to go. Works with iPhones too. Or they can simply download the app from the play store. Just like any other 3rd party app. It's obvious you've never seen or used a Vivo phone before.

12. iloveapps

Posts: 909; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Actually android relies on 3rd party apps. But natively speaking, android itself sucks and just copying apple’s main features.

13. blingblingthing

Posts: 979; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Airdrop is just rehash of the basic Bluetooth/Wifi file transfer that everyone had day one. Airdrop is just a fresh coat on paint on an old idea.

23. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Another example of clueless people This replaces Android Beam had been around for ages anyway Google's Files app also had this feature already for ages

5. DolmioMan

Posts: 345; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

Yep, airdrop is a really cool feature and I’m glad Android users will finally be able to experience it. Just saying though, AirDrop has been around for nearly 8 years.

7. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1459; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Congratulations. Did Apple ever pay the developer they stole the idea from? They literally made a 1:1 copy of his app down to the logo.

9. afrohoxha

Posts: 264; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

It's not something difficult to develop. The problem is that Google has its core business around the cloud, so it kinda forced users to go through the cloud to store and share files in order to familiarize and lock users to the features offered by that.

10. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Nearly as long as S-share, which it was based on.

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Let's bump phones broski.

11. cmdacos

Posts: 4302; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

#clueless

21. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Meh, Android Beam had been around for ages anyway, same with Google's Files app Plus Android is full featured, there's plent of WiFi Direct apps Unlike iOS which is far too limited, still no support for third party WiFi Direct apps

15. bucknassty

Posts: 1365; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

wait... i was tapping phones on android beam before airdrop... but it was pointless when i could just click a button and send it across the room without being close....

18. KingSam

Posts: 1492; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

So it works over bluetooth? Boring. Sending via Wi-Fi is so much faster.

20. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1459; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Bluetooth and wifi.

22. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Bluetooth for authentication, Wifi Direct for sending the files Exactly like AirDrop and Google File's app

19. cosmo100292

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 01, 2019

I used to use Airdroid over a decade ago and was amazing until they ran into some issues with spying so ive been using Airmore ever since. Works flawlessly over wifi with a super nice UI and great speeds (Shrug)

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