If you're already missing Android Beam and the way it allowed you to share links or files from your device to another easily, there's some good news and bad news all rolled up into one item: Google is planning on rolling out a new "Fast Share" protocol through a Play services updates that will allow Android devices to share assets to other devices, primarily using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct connections.
Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo have announced that they're joining forces to create a new file transfer solution that will work seamlessly across devices made by each of them. The peer-to-peer protocol will be able to transfer files at a speed of up to 20MB/s, likely using Bluetooth for pairing and then WiFi for transfer.
Back when Google Play first paved the way for peer-to-peer app and game sharing, SHAREit was one of the first applications to utilize the feature. Along with the secure distribution of APKs outside the Play Store, the app also allows you to send all kinds of files to friends and your other devices. These features are especially useful in countries with low bandwidth, so it's a bummer that the app itself weighs in at 25MB. With this in mind, the company behind the service has released SHAREit Lite for those who need or want a more lightweight version.
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.
As of the latest Canary build (v70), Chrome OS now has network file shares enabled by default. SMB sharing was previously possible via a flag that was added back in March, although it was quite unstable at that time. It should hopefully perform better now, allowing you to add a file share service such as Samba.
Sharing files can be a pain. And that pain increases the bigger the file it is, the more unusual the file type, and when you are trying to move the file from one operating system to another. Thankfully, the developers of Send Anywhere have made it a breeze. Even better, it won't cost you a cent.
The developers that brought us Pushbullet have announced a brand new app. Portal is designed to do one thing and one thing only: move files between your computer and your Android device. While this is possible with Pushbullet, it isn't a strong point and requires sending those files to their servers and back. Portal sends them within your local wireless network, avoiding potentially costly data fees and making possible far faster transfer times.
To be clear, the developers haven't really invented anything here. Sharing files over your local wireless network is as old as, well, wireless networks. The innovation here is making it so simple that you don't have to have a clue how it works.
Droid Zap began as an exclusive feature that Verizon and Motorola hyped up together, but since then, the feature has spread out to all Android phones and iOS as well. Now the app is getting a visual refresh that should make it look at home on modern devices. The colors are bolder, cards are all over the place, and cute imagery ties everything together. There's also a floating action button hovering in the corner.
This is the first update since 2.1 hit back in February, so Motorola has packed quite a few features inside the app. Now users can automatically receive Zaps—photos, videos, etc.—upon launch.
The world is rife with cloud storage providers who would be happy to hold on to your data so you can share it with others, but you have to give up a little control to keep your files on a server you don't own. BitTorrent's Sync service offers an alternative "cloud-free" solution, and the Android app has just been bumped to v1.4 with a number of new features.