First announced back in December 2020 and widely available now, Nearby Share is now introducing the ability to transfer Android apps from one phone to another. It now lets users share apps listed on the Google Play Store. To share apps, you need to simply open Google Play, go to the ‘Share Apps’ menu in ‘My Apps & Games,’ select the apps you want to share, and let your friend accept the incoming apps.
The folks over at 9to5Google were able to test the feature and reported that sending apps to friends is “shockingly fast,” and maybe quicker than sharing over your home Internet connection. Once an app is shared, the other person can install it without leaving the share menu. And then, the devices can be disconnected. Using Nearby Share to send apps would come in handy if one isn’t near a Wi-Fi connection or is nearing your mobile data cap.
Google’s Nearby Share was announced in August 2020 as a rival to Apple’s Airdrop. It allows two smartphones in the vicinity to share files, both online and offline. The feature is available for all smartphones running Android 6 or a later version.
The company is also testing Wi-Fi password sharing via Nearby Share, and aims to roll it out with Android 12. Google currently allows users on Android 10 and later to share their Wi-Fi passwords with the help of a QR code. In the future, however, a single tap will enable Nearby Sharing to share a QR code carrying the Wi-Fi password with a nearby user. This new Android 12 feature will allow users to share their Wi-Fi password with nearby users without announcing it as the password can be shared by sending a QR code via Nearby Share. It will obviously require consent from both the sender and the recipient to make sure that the QR code is being shared with the right person.