Microsoft had recently released the April update for Windows 10, and amongst other features, one notable feature is the ‘Nearby Share’ feature, which lets users easily transfer files from one Windows 10 PC to another. What’s interesting is this feature will also be rolling out support for Android and iOS devices and that could make file sharing a lot easier.
Windows Nearby Sharing: What does it mean
Nearby Sharing feature is already present on Windows 10 PCs. It leverages the power of both Bluetooth and WiFi, but in its current form, it is limited to users sharing files between Windows 10 PCs. However, according to a new report from MSPoweruser, Microsoft might very well be planning to support Nearby Sharing with iOS and Android in the coming months.
This feature was discussed in the recently concluded Build 2018, where Microsoft focused on the part that developers could add Nearby Sharing to Android apps via the Project Rome SDK. What this would mean is that now Nearby Share will also allow users to send files and links from an Android device to a Windows 10 PC, which is currently not an option in the stock Nearby Sharing implementation.
The feature uses Bluetooth to detect PCs and then decides automatically whether WiFi or Bluetooth should be used to transfer the file, depending on whether the devices are on the same network or not.
It’s still not sure if this Nearby Sharing option will be available as a default button in all sharing menus on Android, but it will surely be available for app developers to incorporate into their apps, and we hope that happens soon.
Nearby Sharing: The Airdrop for Android?
Microsoft also shared this chart as shown in the image above. It’s evident from this image that the “Share from” Android support is already coming, whereas the “Share to” Android and the iOS counterparts for both of these are clearly not too far behind.
It’ll be interesting to see iOS Nearby Sharing support as the iOS environment is pretty tight on permissions and security settings. Nevertheless, with the support for Android devices, Nearby Sharing could become the answer to Apple’s AirDrop feature (which works in a similar fashion, using Bluetooth and WiFi to allow users to share files between iOS and MacOS devices). It’ll be a great feature to have for us, and Windows 10 surely is going to benefit from this. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted if and when the feature becomes available to users.
Read more stories from our Microsoft Build 2018 coverage here.