Will Google’s Quick Share (formerly known as Nearby Share) finally rival Apple’s Airdrop in user experience?

As an ardent Android user with an iPhone as my secondary device, I have to admit, Airdrop, Apple’s data transfer feature is one of my favorite features on iOS. Its seamless functionality between my Mac Mini, which I use for video editing, and my iPhone feels like slicing through butter. It’s fast and smooth every time I transfer photos and videos for editing.

Now, let’s talk about the Android ecosystem. It’s a bit messy, to say the least. I own a Redmi 12 Pro, a Galaxy Chromebook Go, and an Asus Vivo Windows laptop dual-booted with Linux. File and photo transfers between these devices involve a gymnastics routine. Google’s attempts at Nearby Share released back in 2020 and positioned as an Airdrop competitor, have left much to be desired. Despite setting up my Chromebook and Android phone for file sharing per Google’s instructions, sending files is always a cumbersome task.

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To ease this struggle, I often resort to third-party alternatives like Telegram or Web RTC-based Snapdrop.net for seamless file sharing between my Android phone and Chromebook. These solutions even work across different platforms as I wrote earlier in the following articles. For example, on Telegram, I upload a file to “Saved messages” and download it on the other device, supporting files up to 2GB. Alternatively, Snapdrop.net, functioning on any browser, lets me transfer files hassle-free through local WiFi without additional software installation.

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So, it’s surprising to me how third-party apps outshine Google’s operating system-based alternatives. Thankfully, Google is addressing this issue with the announcement of Quick Share at this year’s CES. Partnering with Samsung and collaborating with PC manufacturers like LG to integrate Quick Share into Windows PCs as a pre-installed app, Google seems determined to enhance the user experience. Quick Share works exactly like Nearby share, except it promises more convenience. It allows file transfers without the need to accept or reject with each request. Users can control discoverability and file-sharing permissions, choosing from everyone, only contacts, or their own devices. Keep in mind that Quick share is a name that Google borrowed from Samsung’s own file sharing app.

As an Android, Chrome OS, and Windows PC user, I genuinely envy Apple’s Airdrop feature, and I eagerly anticipate Quick Share’s rollout next month to see if it lives up to expectations. Stay tuned for my review once I’ve had the chance to test it out.


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