Sharing content across devices hasn’t always been the most seamless experience. Back in 2020, Google introduced Nearby Share to make file sharing across devices easier but if you were a Samsung user, you had similar capabilities with a feature called Quick Share. It’s been convoluted since there isn’t a unified sharing solution. But that might be changing soon. As part of an announcement at CES 2024, Google has officially joined forces with Samsung to bring their collective file-sharing expertise into a new unified, cross-Android solution that will be called Quick Share.
Google says this integration combines the best of both worlds, creating “the best default, built-in option for peer-to-peer content sharing across all types of devices in the Android and Chromebook ecosystems.” Current Nearby Share-enabled devices will start seeing the new branding next month and functionally, the user experience will be the same and transfers should continue to work regardless of the name you see on your device.
The collaboration doesn’t stop there, though. Google is also “working with leading PC manufacturers” to integrate Quick Share with Windows PCs. LG was one of the manufacturers named in the announcement and is planning to pre-install a Quick Share app on their devices. This is a major step towards universal compatibility in content sharing and should provide a simple way to share from Chromebooks to various Windows devices soon.
As for the technical bits, Google says Quick Share is supported on Android GMS devices running Android 6.0 and up, Chromebooks running Chrome OS version 91+ and computers running a 64-bit version of Windows 10+. The rollout of Quick Share is set to begin in February, starting with devices currently enabled with Nearby Share.
Why it matters
With Apple’s closed ecosystem, AirDrop can work flawlessly, but it will take some work and collaboration for Andoird, Chromebooks, and PCs to work together. We were a little confused by the leaked images of Quick Share but it makes sense now. Who better than Google and Samsung to take the lead on a cohesive file-sharing solution? And with Nearby Share for Windows now available, the move to get PC manufacturers on board makes sense, too. I’m hopeful that Quick Share can be the unified solution that allows all of us non-Apple users to easily share between any device we choose to use without being forced into one particular ecosystem or operating system.