Google and Samsung’s version of AirDrop is now rolling out to Android devices

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Android’s version of Apple’s AirDrop feature is finally starting to roll out to Pixel devices following its announcement at CES 2024 earlier this year.

Google’s Nearby Share and Samsung’s Quick Share have always behaved a lot like AirDrop. The functions allow you to quickly exchange files and photos with nearby devices, but annoyingly only work with devices using the same sharing system – so if you were using a Samsung Galaxy phone and your buddy had a Google Pixel then you’d have to transfer files a different way.

At CES 2024 Google and Samsung revealed that Google’s Nearby Share will be renamed Quick Share (following an accidental tease of this renaming at the end of 2023), and that Samsung and Google devices will be able to share files with each other – as well as with other Nearby Share compatible devices like Chromebooks and other Android phones – finally making Nearby Share / Quick Share a proper Android version of AirDrop.

Eventually, this new Quick Share system will expand to Windows machines too, with a Quick Share platform manager at Samsung saying (translated from Korean) that this support will arrive by Q3 2024 (July to September).

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As reported by Mishaal Rahman, several Pixel users are seeing that Quick Share has rolled out to their devices. Non-pixel users are also replying to Rahman’s post with screenshots showing the new Quick Share on their Samsung and OnePlus devices.

We haven’t yet seen the change on any of our Pixel phones – this writer’s Pixel 6 still shows Nearby Share – but we’ll be on the lookout for the small but significant update to Android’s sharing system. According to a Samsung manager’s post on its community message board (translated from Korean), Galaxy phones should receive the update by tomorrow.

Google should apparently finish rolling the update out to other Android devices between February 2 and February 16 (per a new Mishaal Rahman post).

Samsung Galaxy S24 S24 Plus S24 Ultra hands on back angled camera closeup

The Samsung Galaxy S24, S24 Plus, S24 Ultra (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Alongside this Quick Share change, Samsung phones can expect a few other updates soon with the rolling out of the One UI 6.1 update.

Lock screen widgets, improved battery protection settings, and some impressive AI photo edits are launching on the new Samsung Galaxy S24 phones, as well as the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 FE, Galaxy Z Flip 5, and the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 devices will also see some updates, but will miss out on the AI features.


Updated January 31, 17:15: New information from another Mishaal Rahman tweet was added that provides dates for when the update should arrive on PC and Android devices.

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