How to use Android Nearby Share feature

Google is currently working on its new sharing feature- Nearby Share. And, If you want to try out this feature and start sharing files and other content on your phone, then follow our guide.

Android Nearby Share

In this post, we have shown how you can use the Android Nearby Share feature on your own Android phone.


In fact, we are currently using the Nearby Share feature on our devices running Android 10.

Now, Google has already announced that this feature will eventually support all the Android 6.0 Marshmallow devices and later.

Let’s Get Started…

#1. Update the Google Play Services (beta)

Before we get into the setup of the Nearby Share, we have to install the Google Play Services beta on our phones. Although, Google has confirmed that there is a server-side component to this feature. we are not sure how widely this feature is available on the beta.

This means it may be possible you may not get this feature at all, even with the Google Play Servies beta.

Needless to say, to share files and other content between two devices you need to have the Nearby Share feature on both the devices.

To get the beta version of the Google Play Services, go to this link and click on the “Become a Testor” button.

Google Play Services beta

After you opt-in, the beta version will be available to install from the PlayStore. Google has made it hard to find the Play Services app on the Play Store. So, to update the Google Play Services, go to the “My apps & games” section and move to the “beta” tab. There you will find the option to update the Google Play Services.

If you are unable to become a beta tester, you can install the beta version manually with APK Mirror.

Once you install the Google Play Services beta, restart your phone and hope that it triggers the server-side flags. It worked fine on our test devices and may work for you as well.

#2. Set Up Nearby Share

Now that we have installed the Play Services beta, we just have to enable the Nearby Share’s visibility. The simplest method to configure is to just run the application.

There are two ways by which we can do that: The first one is to try sharing any file or media and then choose Nearby Share from the share sheet. Or to add the Nearby Share tile on the notification bar.

If you don’t find Nearby Share by any of the above methods, then probably you don’t have the feature.

nearby share setup

To find this feature on the share sheet, just open any app that lets you share images or files like Google Files and Google Photos.

Now, select any file and tap on the share button. Then, you will see the share sheet in which you can find the Nearby Share icon along with other apps. Tap on the icon and begin the setup.

Another simple way to start setup is to go to the quick settings tile editor and look for the Nearby Share tile icon. After this add it to the quick settings and tap on it to begin setup.

nearby share screenshot

The setup process is really simple, you just have to select the visibility of your device and set the name of your device. Also, you can change these settings anytime in the future.

With this, you have completed the setup and are ready to transfer files with the Nearby Share feature.

Now, if you share any file you will be prompted to continue after which you can choose the nearby device.

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#3. Use Nearby Share

Now, When the Nearby Share is enabled and you try to share some files, it will look for the nearby devices.

nearby share settings

The UI is really simple. You can tap on the x icon to back out and when you tap on your avatar, it will take you to the settings page. And in the settings page, you can change the initial setup like the phone visibility and the name of your device.

Here, you can also select the method of the file transfer. You can choose whether to use your internet connection for small files, to use the Wi-Fi, or to always share offline.

There is also the device visibility settings. You can choose between All Contacts, Some Contacts, and Hidden option. With each option, you can see devices other than your contacts list.

This means if you have Nearby Share open and waiting to receive a file, you are not limited to the contact list of your phone.

file receive popup

If a phone meets the sender criteria for visibility and someone tries to send a file, the receiver will get a notification. The receiver need to tap on the notification and proceed with the process.

google receive files

After this, both the sender and the receiver have to agree to the connection for transferring the media. This is an important step that takes the consent of the receiver before accepting any files.

The type of connection your device uses will be different based on the settings you choose and the type of file.

For small files and URLs, probably the data connection will be used and for big files and documents, the device will end up using the Wi-Fi.

When the media arrives on the phone, it will open on their proprietary apps. Like Youtube URL’s will be opened on Youtube app, Twitter URL’s on the Twitter app. Likewise, other media files will be saved in the Downloads folder.

Share File Easily with Nearby Share

This was how you can use the Android Nearby Share feature on your Device and transfer files and other media with ease.

The data transfer speeds will depend on the type of connection and the size of the files. But, you can expect a transfer speed of 40MBps, if you are using some good phone.

What are your thoughts on this new Android Nearby Share feature? Tell us in the comments.

If you have any doubts regarding the steps or the process, comment below and we will reply with the solution.

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