Google's Nearby Share is the company's competitor to AirDrop, which allows Android users to share files seamlessly between devices. Now, Google is rolling out the ability for users to share apps with nearby Android devices using Nearby Share. Nearby Share was launched first in August and only allowed Android users to share and receive files, photos, and videos, until now. The ability to share apps was announced back in December 2020 and is now rolling out for Android users.
The new feature allows users to share apps from Google Play with the people around them with an Android smartphone, even without having an Internet connection or Wi-Fi. In order to use the new feature, users need to go to Google Play Store on their Android phone, open the hamburger menu, and then select My Apps and Games. There, users should be able to see a Share tab alongside other options like Updates, Installed, Library, and Beta. Clicking on the Share tab shows the new "Share apps with Nearby Share" feature, which says that users can now send and receive apps with anyone nearby using Google Play. "No Internet connection required," the notice says.
Users can click Send if they wish to send an app to someone, and click Receive if they are receiving an app. When sending apps, users can select multiple apps and send in one go. Using the feature requires users to give Google Play Store access to their location, then takes them to the list of apps on their device, in order to select and send. We were able to confirm the arrival of this feature on the OnePlus 7 Pro running on Android 10. This feature is expected to roll out to all phones running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above.
According to reports, Google is also bringing the ability to share Wi-Fi passwords via Nearby Share on Android 12.