Nearby Share, Android's AirDrop equivalent, had been teased and leaked for over a year before it finally made its shy debut at the end of June. In its limited rollout, the feature was restricted to devices running Google Play Services beta, and was also governed by a server-side test. Only a small percentage of users got it, but it now appears to be rolling out widely and coming out of beta too.
One of our tipsters just noticed that Nearby Share showed up for him even though he's on Google Play Services v20.24.13, which is a stable release (and not even the most recent one). Here's a link to it on APK Mirror. It's a small sample size, sure, but it's indicative that you may no longer need to mess up with your device to get the feature.
Even those of us who like living on the bleeding edge of technology are a bit wary of installing Play Services beta, given the potential for bugs and the app's long-reaching tentacles in the entirety of the OS. So it's good to know the beta requirement for Nearby Share might be soon dropped.
Several of our tipsters also told us that Nearby Sharing got activated for them over the past 24 hours. Most of them are using the latest Android 11 Beta 2 and Google Play Services beta — it could be a coincidence or a sign that Android 11 users are being privileged in the rollout, even though the feature should work on Marshmallow and above.
- Eduardo Ribeiro