Google has started releasing a tool within Nearby Share, which allows application sharing between Android devices even when gadgets are not connected to any data network. The best part of the news is that the news does not require a software update to work properly.
If you open the Play Store on your Android smartphone or tablet right now, tap on “My apps and games” (within the menu displayed after clicking on the three stripes, in the upper left corner), you will arrive at the place where all the programs are. installed and the list of those with an update available. At the top of the screen are tabs to separate information by subject, one of which is called “Share”.
This is a place that started appearing in the official Google app store for everyone on Thursday (18), and in it the user can share an application installed on the device.
From there, you will be able to find other users nearby to send an app from your device. To avoid spamming applications on the street, the recipient also has to enter the same area as the Play Store, but tap “Receive” instead of “Send”. Another tool used for sending doesn’t happen to the wrong person, is a pairing code – very similar to the one sent to connect two gadgets via Bluetooth.
For sharing to work, version 24 of the Play Store is required. If you allow automatic updating of apps on your device, most likely the store on your gadget is already the most recent.
The only authorization required so that both sides of the connection can see each other, is the location of the two people at that time. During the connection between the two parties, it is possible to send other apps or games without having to ask for the code again.
There are some limitations for use, such as sending apps that were purchased within the Play Store, apps installed outside the official store and for programs that are even within Google Play, but not available to the general public – such as apps that are still on closed testing phase.
Nearby Share is already known in the Android world
As much as the sharing of apps may seem new, not all of it is. Nearby Share was launched in August last year and is Google’s answer to AirDrop for Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, iPods Touch and computers with macOS.
Nearby Share needs the user to be at least on Android 6 Marshmallow and it goes far beyond the Play Store, allowing photos, videos and other files to be passed from one smartphone or tablet to another. The connection used for sending and receiving is decided on the spot and prioritizes the best possible technology for the moment, be it Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC or point-to-point Wi-Fi – called Wi-Fi Driect.
Google plans to take Nearby Share on Chromebooks, thus allowing the sharing of these files between Android smartphones and tablets, with laptops that use Chrome OS.
The great advantage of the feature is the absence of any connection to mobile networks, saving the phone bill at the end of the month and ensuring the distribution of apps even in areas without operator coverage.
The “Share” tab should take some time to appear on all devices. I was able to see it right away on a simpler intermediate Android, but it hasn’t shown up yet on my Chromebook’s Play Store.
With information: 9to5Google and XDA-Developers.