AirDroid used to be a typical part of the Android enthusiast's swiss army knife app toolkit, and it still has a strong userbase, even if some have moved on as a result of heavy in-app advertisements and security troubles. But it just picked up a new feature that might convince some folks to try it again. AirDroid now lets you share files to nearby devices AirDrop-style.
The update that delivered the feature was dated for February 27th in the app's changelog, but it appears to have finally rolled out widely as of today:
1. Sharing files with your "Nearby" devices is quick and easy now, it works even devices are connecting with different networks. (Device which receives file does not have to log in)
2. We've enhanced the stability of transferring and optimized the experience of discovering "Nearby" devices.
3. Other bugs fixed and improvements.
Being the curious sort we are, we had to give the new functionality a try, and it seems to work. As always, you'll need an AirDroid account registered to take advantage of the feature, but once you sign into the app, transferring files is as simple as heading to the "Nearby" tab, searching for a nearby device, connecting to it (which may require a prompt on the other device), and sending your files on over.
I should note, file transfers via "Nearby" aren't new, but transferring files via the feature without a shared connection is.
Look, ma, no Wi-Fi (or internet at all).
There is one substantial caveat, though. Although transferring files over a common Wi-Fi connection is fast (and again, not a new feature), if you try to do it without that shared connection, it's crazy slow — or at least, it was in my testing, at around 20-70 KB/s. However, I found it even worked if one of the devices had no internet connection at all — it seems to use Bluetooth. AirDroid's developer tells us this should be faster in the future, though.
It still might not be as well integrated as AirDrop or the upcoming Nearby Sharing feature we expect to be added to Android someday, but this does work across platforms (yes, including iOS), and it could help tide you over in the meantime.
AirDroid's v184.108.40.206 update is available now over on the Play Store.
AirDroid's developer reached out to us with some extra information regarding this update, including a bit of a roadmap when it comes to making the Bluetooth sharing faster and some other details. We've updated our coverage with that information.