Google’s AirDrop competitor, Nearby Share, is now available on Windows as a beta app. After announcing plans for Nearby Share on Windows at CES 2022, Google has finally shipped the Windows app as a beta to allow Android users to share photos, documents, files, and links between Android devices and Windows PCs.
The Windows Nearby Share just needs to be installed and configured to start sending and receiving files between Android and Windows devices. Google is supporting Windows 10 and up, but ARM-powered Windows laptops aren’t supported right now. You can setup Nearby Share to allow sharing with everyone, just your contacts, or limit it to your own devices.
“Nearby Share Beta works with your Windows PC whether the app is open on the desktop or running in the background,” explains Priya Samnerkar, senior product manager for Android, in a blog post. “As we continue to fine-tune the experience and receive your feedback, we’ll expand official support to share content with other Google ecosystem devices.”
Nearby Share on Windows lets you drag and drop files into the app. If both devices are signed into your own Google account the process is even faster, with files being automatically accepted and transferred. This works even if you have your phone or laptop screen off.
Google is testing Nearby Share on Windows in the US and elsewhere, but a lot of European countries won’t get access just yet — including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The full list of unsupported countries is available at Google’s support site.
Google Nearby Share is the second major Windows app that Google has launched into beta recently. Google Play Games arrived last November, allowing Windows users to access a limited selection of Android games on their PCs. Microsoft implemented its own Android support in Windows 11, but it’s currently limited to software downloaded from the Amazon Appstore unless you’re willing to do some workarounds to get Google Play support up and running.
Likewise, Microsoft also has its own Phone Link app to sync Windows PCs and Android devices. It’s most effective with Samsung devices, so Google’s own Nearby Share looks like a great alternative if you want automatic file transfers across a broader range of Android phones.