Ever since Nearby Share arrived on Chromebooks back with version 91 and on Android in mid-2020, Google’s answer to Apple’s Airdrop has become perhaps one of the most important features that exists right now as part of the Google Ecosystem. Nearby Share has gone through several iterations and updates. Most recently, it is making its way to the Android 13 Clipboard Manager as yet another way that you can share text and images with your other devices.
In a recent APK teardown, the folks over at 9to5Google discovered that more work is being done to the look and feel of Nearby Share, at least on Android. According to their findings, when you start the Nearby Share feature, a sheet will slide up and start the “Looking for nearby devices” process. In the past, Google would indicate that this was happening by using a wave that moved from left to right. Now, with this minor update, Nearby Share makes use of a variety of Material You shapes that will expand and then fade away from behind your profile avatar.
It was also noted that the text on this panel is now a little bit bigger and centered, while the Nearby Share icon has been added to the top. Google has also made the previews of what is being shared bigger and put them in a card with icons, which makes it easier to see what is being shared. There will also be previews of the images.
This new look for Nearby Share is not yet live and will reportedly roll out via a server-side update to the latest version of Google Play Services. In the meantime, I’m enjoying these new improvements to Nearby Share and strengthens my hope that it will someday expand to cover PCs and Macs, and maybe even iOS as well by a PWA, instead of just Android and ChromeOS. That is the one missing piece to make Nearby Share the better option when it comes to sharing content with your friends and family.