Google’s Nearby Sharing Could Work with Linux

Jun 22, 2020

Google’s answer to Apple’s AirDrop feature is rumored to work with the Linux desktop.

For Linux users, one of the big frustrations with Android is transferring files to and from a mobile device. You could certainly set up an SMB share and install an Android file manager that includes Samba connectivity, or configure an FTP or sFTP server on your Linux machine and use a supporting app on Android.

That necessity could be coming to an end.

If the rumors are true, Android will soon be bringing a new feature to the mobile platform that will allow you to easily share things to nearby devices. That feature is aptly named, Nearby Sharing. Originally this feature was to be used for sharing links, photos, and more between Android devices. However, Google has brought the feature to the latest Chrome OS Canary builds. And although the feature is yet to actually do anything, the description of Nearby Sharing for Android is the same found in the Chrome browser_features.cc file, which indicates the feature will be coming to the Chrome browser on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Yes, that mean Nearby Sharing doesn't technically work natively on Linux, but requires the use of Chrome on the open source platform. Even so, it'll be an important step forward for any Linux user who depends on Android and needs an efficient way to transfer files back and forth between Google's mobile OS and their desktop of choice.

Read the original commit for the Chrome browser file here.

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