One more KitKat feature spotlight for the evening. This time, it's Wi-Fi TDLS. Added in Android 4.4, Wi-Fi TDLS, as Google describes it, is "a seamless way to stream media and other data faster between devices already on the same Wi-Fi network." TDLS, for those that don't know, stands for Tunneled Direct Link Setup.

Essentially, Wi-Fi TDLS allows two devices on the same Wi-Fi network to link directly to one another and share data without burdening the network/router/other devices in the process. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance:

Two TDLS devices automatically use their highest common performance and security features, regardless of the feature level supported by the network.  TVs, smartphones, cameras, printers, PCs, projectors, and gaming devices, for example, can connect directly to each other to transfer content and share applications quickly and easily.

The option to connect directly with other TDLS devices and share data without burdening the network is a welcomed and interesting addition (the more alternatives to emailing yourself a file the better, right?), and it will be interesting to see how this functionality ends up getting used between devices in the future.

Source: Android Developers, Wi-Fi Alliance

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Matt

    So do any non-Android devices support this yet?

    • David Hart

      Maybe more importantly, is this on a hardware level, or a software level?

      If it is software side, do other OSs have this? like win 7, mac, ios.
      I would love to be able to stream a HD movie to my phone and not interrupt my family. while they play/watch/browse.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    Could this be a nice step towards local content in Chromecasts?

    • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

      Rather, officially-supported local content, since people had that working unofficially almost immediately ;) Also, I think so.

    • Andy Stetson

      Would be nice, especially for when i'm casting a Chrome tab, ie golf channel or firstrowsports.

    • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

      Or perhaps a Google alternative to Airdrop?

  • Mike S.

    How do you set this up? I checked under Wifi setting and didn't see it.

    • Tills13

      Android 4.4

      • Mike S.

        I'm running 4.4

        • Tills13

          Uhhhhh... How?

          • Mike S.

            PA released a build earlier for the FLO N7.

          • Tills13

            FLO might not be TDLS compat.

          • Mike S.

            That's what I was thinking. It probably starts with the N5 and onwards

  • nicereddy

    I think this may be a key part of whatever Google is going to do with their newly acquired "Bump".

  • BozzyB

    -> Android Beam

  • Aaron Huffman

    Nvidia, get on it! We know this would work hand-in-hand with game streaming.

    • Walkop

      Good point! Never thought about that kind of application for this tech.

  • Roh_Mish

    Now get WiFi direct file sharing to stock android.

    • Simon Belmont

      This. I tried Android Beam again a few weeks ago, having not tried it since Android 4.0, and it's still via Bluetooth.

      I don't understand why they can't leverage Wi-Fi direct. Most phones and tablets have it now.

      • angel_spain

        You should try Superbeam. Wifi-direct sharing usually go as fast as 30MB/s, that app is free, ad-free and a MUST.

        • Simon Belmont

          Thanks! I'll definitely give it a try.

          It's just a shame that Google doesn't bake this into its own OS. It's a no-brainer!

        • Roh_Mish

          Ot connects via normal WiFi. And you need Shoreham on both devices. I use fast WiFi transfer and it is small and good.

  • kamiller42

    I hope Google comes up with a layman friendly name for this feature.

  • Wyatt Neal

    I hope that this encourages Space Team to become more awesome than it already is ... as a space team.

  • Jordan Pt

    This could allow AirPlay like Video Mirroring to devices like the ChromeStick, without burdening the Router. I stream between WiFi devices on my network and the router bottleneck is always an issue. I wonder if Laptops could get support for this feature as well. Linux Distros would probably have an easier time than a Mac/Windows implementation, since you can easily add such functionality directly into a Linux OS. Wonder if there are specific Hardware/Driver requirements for such a feature.

  • Random!

    DLNA to TV? Hmmm. Does the raspberry PI support this too?

  • Paul M

    The final paragraph about emailing yourself a file implies the author conflated inter-device file sharing with the low level protocol which controls transmission of data packets over WiFi between nodes.