Android steps up its file-transfer game with improved Lollipop Beam

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Apple users may be getting their first taste of NFC this week, as Apple Pay service goes live in the US, but the Android smartphone club has been reaping the benefits of NFC for years now. Beyond payments, one of the things NFC has helped streamline is file sharing, and Android Beam gave users an easy way to share certain media with any NFC-equipped Android within reach. One of its biggest limitations concerned just which files it would let you share, and while you could Beam things like images from phone to phone with ease, you were out of luck if you wanted to pass along general-purpose data. With Android 5.0 Lollipop, that’s all changing, letting you share any file you choose with Beam’s combination of NFC and Bluetooth.

The key difference that makes this possible is adding Beam as an option to the general Android sharing menu. This way, you can pull up a file of your choice through any file manager app and select to make it available to another phone by means of Beam – just set up the transfer and tap to get it started.

While this ability to initiate Beams with any file under the sun is a Lollipop-exclusive feature, receiving Androids can still be running older versions of the OS, which should help jump-start adoption even as Lollipop slowly comes to existing Android devices. We’re sure not everyone’s as excited about this change as we are, but for those of you Android power users who use your phones for more than just snapping selfies and posting to your FB wall, this sounds like a great step forward for mobile productivity.

Source: Android Police

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!