Old Android hands should remember when Ice Cream Sandwich brought a brand new feature called "Android Beam" to everyone's favorite operating system. Basically, it was sort of like a much worse version of Apple's recently-released AirDrop, initiating file transfers locally via NFC. Sadly for those that enjoyed it, the feature was removed from Android Q. Read More
Android Beam was a feature introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) that allowed people to share photos, sites, apps, and more by tapping their phones together. It was a neat feature when it launched, and it still works great for sending links and small files, but Android Beam's future is now uncertain. Read More
Among the many features Google talked about when the Android L preview rolled out was an improved version of Android Beam, and it's here in the new Android 5.0 dev preview. NFC sharing has existed since Android 4.0 in some form or another, but now it's finally something you can use without second-guessing yourself. Just pick a file and start beaming.
A new update to Google+ is currently rolling out, and when it hits your device, not only will it bring along the usual bug fixes and performance increases, it will contain a number of new features. The Photos app now supports Android Beam, so two Android owners can share images with one another over NFC. There is also the new option to set images within Photos as a Daydream that plays whenever a device is docked. Lastly, users can pull up photo details from the drop-down menu, an ability that's more useful than it is exciting. A Google+ developer has shared screenshots of all three new features in action. Read More
Everyone has been making a big deal about NFC lately - which phones have it, where it can be used, etc. Until last night's announcement, many (including myself) didn't see much on the horizon except a fun way to pay for things using your phone. That perception has changed, however, thanks to Android Beam.
Beam utilizes NFC technology to quickly, seamlessly transfer data from one device to another. As demonstrated last night, one has only to touch the two devices together to send just about anything from web pages, to photos, to apps.
Just touch the devices back-to-back, tap the confirmation, and that's it. Read More