Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo collaborate on AirDrop-style file transfer

Three of China’s biggest smartphone makers are working together on a new wireless file transfer protocol that will work between their respective devices. Xiaomi’s MIUI, Oppo’s ColorOS, and Vivo’s FuntouchOS — all based on Android — will integrate the peer-to-peer system, according to a WeChat post by Xiaomi’s official MIUI account.

The protocol will use Bluetooth to pair devices and should be capable of transfer speeds of up to 20MB/s, which suggests it uses Wi-Fi on the backend, like Apple’s proprietary AirDrop system. Xiaomi’s post says other smartphone manufacturers can apply to join the presently allied trio. A beta version of the service should be released by the end of this month.

Google has attempted to launch AirDrop-style services for Android in the past, with varying success. 2011’s Android 4.0 included Android Beam, which relied on NFC for device pairing and is being removed in the upcoming Android Q. The company’s newer Files by Google (originally Files Go) app offers file transfer with Bluetooth pairing, while Android Q itself will integrate similar “Fast Share” functionality into the share sheet.

Fast Share is reportedly a Google Play Services feature, which probably explains why Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are working together to roll their own version. The three companies account for around half of the Chinese smartphone market — 49 percent last quarter, according to recent data from Counterpoint Research — which means they have a huge addressable user base running non-Google versions of Android. The biggest question is whether Huawei, which captured 34 percent of the market alone last quarter, might be tempted to get on board.


Airdrop your files straight to China!

To China, to America, to wherever your heart desires. That’s the power of true innovation.

can’t these companies in the Android Ecosystem just join forces with Google? This is just gonna further break the Android ecosystem of devices.
What customers really need now isn’t a broken ecosystem of phones. What customers really need is simplicity and ease of use.

Well anything part of Google Play Services will still work fine for anyone that has them. Unfortunately, they are not available in China (where these 3 companies has many customers, and together serve half the market). Did you not read the piece?

This is not much about Google play service in China. Google is just slow on this function. The NFC based Android beam was a wrong choice. Airdrop came out for many years. Bluetooth +WiFi is the right way. But till now google only have an app that support this function, no OS level protocol. Bunch of apps provide similar abilities on Android but less stable. Xiaomi and OPPO both have this function built in for at least 2 years, but only usable between their own brand. This time they cooperate. I would say this is useful, less reliable than Airdrop but better than just an App.

Airdrop is limited to only iOS which barely has a footprint in the world market anymore and would be going the way of Windows Phone if not for the nearly half national marketshare Apple has in the United States.

But as per what you said Xiaomi and OPPO have had this feature for years on their own platforms. Extremely reliable on those individual platforms too so extending it now across platform is something that Apple has yet to do and also thanks to Xiaomi’s Google Play listing many of MIUI’s features are also available on Android as apps while OPPO’s ColorOS is much more of a UI of Android instead of its own platform so having any cross platform features with it will potentially extend the availability of the feature to Android. If this partnership gets momentum things like Airdrop will become universal in no time thanks to Android’s much larger market presence.

Google killed Android Beam, these guys want a system like that or AirDrop. It’s Google’s fault for killing it instead of making it better.

Well thanks to America’s government that’s not going to happen with these guys. Huawei’s already getting its own OS 100% separate from Android and these guys have already been testing that OS on their own systems. So if anything they won’t even be considered part of the Android "ecosystem" anymore. But besides Xiaomi for one has been using MIUI. While it is techincally just another UI skin over Android like Samsung’s TouchWiz or OneUI Xiaomi’s is so far removed from Android that most features have MIUI specific variations that conflict with Android’s. For example when Android finally got permissions controls in 6.0 it nearly broke MIUI’s original version until months of patches later. It took finally switching the Android version off for the MIUI version to work properly again.

Why don’t they adopt Wi-Fi Direct based file sharing system?

Files by Google is also using the same technology, Wi-Fi Direct.

It is wifi direct. Just the pairing mechanism is new from what i gather.

I don’t think the people outside of China realize how common things like Wifi Direct is over there. QR is now catching on again in America updating itself with some of the features China has enjoyed for the last decade.

Oppo and vivo already basically collab in everything as is. They are both owned by bbk electronics as are OnePlus and a few others

But these guys also have basically the same OS just with different branding and in OnePlus’ case a very skinned down version to be closer to vanilla Android which appeals to Android purists.

I read the heading and really it’s just basically Xiaomi and BBK Electronics "collaborating" on their own Airdrop. Sure it’s cool but heh well I’ll wait to see how secure it is.

Well don’t really know enough about BBK or its brands but Xiaomi has been praised by hackers for its hard to crack security features even in their AIoT product line so I’d say this feature is going to be pretty secure. Definitely more secure than Apple considering it’s already come out that the US government has commissioned an Israeli company who have created a program that can crack iOS wide open.

theres nothing special about airdrop, there are many gd app which transfer files via wifi.

Something interesting is happening in Asia right now. It seems that Huawei is being segregated by the industry in China, while Samsung has stepped up as a collaborative force to smaller Chinese manufacturers on the competitive side of the Chinese market.
We can see that Oppo is using Samsung’s Corephotonics 5X zoom and it will be launching a 10X zoom very soon, before any Samsung phone uses the feature.
Also the 108 megapixels Samsung’s ISOCELL sensor developed in collaboration with Xiaomi, will be launched in the upcoming Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, before any Samsung release.
The 90hz refresh rate display on the Oneplus 7pro and (possibly in the next Google Pixel 4), also the announced AMOLED 90hz refresh rate display of the soon to be released Mi Mix 3 seems to come ahead any of the Samsung flagships announcement, (maybe Samsung is simmering a Dynamic AMOLED display with 120hz for the Galaxy S11).
Samsung is making a VERY smart move allowing experimental technologies to be launched primarily in China by those smaller but high leverage manufactures. Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, Oneplus have became Samsung’s probes for innovative high tech for upcoming Global Models such as Galaxy S and Galaxy Note Series.
The Chinese market (second worldwide), is a LOT more open to innovative features than any other place in the world and the fact that it is dominated by local manufacturers, (with little known international name recognition and very limited international sales reach), is without doubt, the best lab for Samsung’s next steps for global magnitude.
Oppo, Vivo, Oneplus, Xiaomi are the lab animals Samsung needed to test, improve and adopt experimental technologies to global reach with minimal investments and/ or risks.

I wouldn’t say segregated so much as segregating. Huawei is the superstar right now and if it prioritizes itself the way Apple had it could potentially jump forward against the competition like it already has against Qualcomm. The Kirin 980 was the first time an SoC from China outpaced the rest and its new Kirin 990 has more than doubled the performance of Qualcomm’s suped up version of its best chip the 855 Plus. It’s Balong 5000 5G modem is also much faster and more powerful than Qualcomm’s X50.

On the other hand I doubt Samsung’s the one cashing in on Huawei’s unavailability to other brands in China. And China’s not quite the lab Samsung does need to stay on top. I do agree that China is much more open and forward thinking to innovation than anywhere else in the world these days but that comes with the caveat that Chinese consumers are still very value conscious. For example Huawei’s foldable phone was announced in Europe because foldable phones are known to have several untested issues that could prove a poor investment. The Samsung Galaxy Fold only made those fears confirmed and neither device is up for release in the Chinese market while the Fold is already released in Korea and set for release in America and Mate X is still set for release outside China. Meanwhile the 108MP camera that Samsung worked together with Xiaomi to develop was being criticized for being a collab with Samsung instead of more trusted camera sensor maker Sony. And Samsung no longer has a presence in the Chinese consumer market either. Actually I think Huawei’s proprietary smart tvs used the Samsung and LG branded displays in rival products as a way to promote itself.

Right now its the innovations from the local brands and not what they choose to buy or develop with Samsung that’s reaching success in China so unless Samsung’s lab is testing whether or not the company should just manufacture the parts its Chinese rivals want it’s probably not doing them too many favors.

why is such a simple task so complicated

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