Google’s Nearby Share for Windows is pretty cool

Over the weekend, Google announced that its Nearby Share app for Windows is now available in beta. It was an odd time (on a weekend) because the release of this app is a pretty big deal for those who wanted easier ways to transfer files between phone and computer, like someone can do via AirDrop with Apple’s settings. :

Used to share files between Android phones and (now) a PC, Nearby Share could previously only perform this same task between Android devices (and maybe Chrome OS). With this release, Google has opened up simple drag-and-drop sharing to such a large scale to include Windows. Your own workflow can now easily incorporate Nearby Share from your phone or computer to quickly get files to where they need to be.

For now, Google is only making this available as a beta for Windows in the US (and is slowly rolling out to select other regions), so expect bugs and frequent complaints from MacOS users. I’ll put my name on the MacOS complainers list because I’d use it dozens of times a day if I could.

Since I also happen to have a Windows PC at the office, I fired it up to give Nearby Share a spin. It works pretty well and let me toss around multiple images and files and video in a matter of seconds, making them all noiselessly accessible to the device I sent them to. Since I have Nearby Share on my Galaxy S23, my Windows PC found it and sent those files without any real settings. I then returned the S23 favor to the PC just as easily.

Nearby Share Windows app

Google says you can set Nearby Share to run in the background on your Windows PC to always have it available. You can also manage some sharing settings so that your computer is open to everyone, contacts, or your own devices, or you can hide it. You can select individual files or folders, change the name of your device (Kellen’s Windies), change the location of the file to receive, and that’s it. It’s not an advanced setup, but it just works.

If you missed the news over the weekend or were wondering what the deal is with Nearby Share on Windows, I can tell you that in my short time with it, it’s very useful and easy to use. I can’t wait for Google to expand or improve it, something like that.

To download Nearby Share for Windows, go to this page. There’s also an FAQ if you have more specific questions.

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