Last year, Google teased its Airdrop-like Nearby Share feature for months before finally landing, letting users wirelessly and locally share content like photos and videos, but also links and app intents. Back at the start of December we started hearing about a new feature for Nearby Share designed to extend that support to sharing entire apps. Now it looks like that functionality is finally starting to arrive in the Play Store.

Even before this was announced, we still had a few options — Google's Files Go lets you share apps, and there's always the more complicated workaround of sharing APKs and sideloading them — but this system promises to be more direct and simpler, built right into the Play Store. A new Share menu arrives in the My Apps & Games section, and you'll be able to send apps by simply selecting them and firing them off.

By virtue of being built into the Play Store, users won't have to handle differences in architecture with things like App Bundles that they might have to deal with sharing apps via some other methods, and they don't have to deal with the process of sideloading.

Google initially said to look for the feature's arrival within the coming weeks, making us think a late-December or even January launch might be in the cards. Instead, we're only just now seeing it begin to land, and initial availability seems a bit limited.

Both sender and receiver will need to have these options active in the Play Store app to successfully complete a transfer, but once you're both on the same page, the process looks to be quite straightforward. Just keep in mind that transfers are manual on both sides. Once the process is initiated, installs should proceed in the background without the need for further user interaction.


Post updated with details on feature's arrival.

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