Google’s Nearby Share for Windows is pretty awesome

Over the weekend, Google announced that its Nearby Share app for Windows is now available in beta. It was odd timing (being on a weekend) because the release of this app was a huge deal for those who wanted an easy way to share files back and forth between phones and computers, like one might use AirDrop with Apple setup.

Used to share files between an Android phone and (now) a computer, Nearby Share was previously only able to do the same between Android devices (and possibly Chrome OS). With this release, Google introduced easy drag-and-drop sharing on such a large scale, including Windows. Your own workflow can now easily include nearby shares to quickly get files from phone or computer to where they need to be

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

Since I also have a Windows PC in my office, I moved it to a nearby share for spinning. It works pretty well and lets me toss around a few photos and files, as well as a video, in seconds, making them available to the device I sent them to without fuss. Since my Galaxy S23 has Nearby Share, my Windows PC found it and sent those files without any real setup. I then returned the facility from the S23 to the PC very easily.

Nearby Share Windows app

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

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

To download Nearby Share for Windows, visit this page. Should you have more specific questions, there are frequently asked questions.

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