Android Beam could be replaced with AirDrop style ‘Fast Sharing’

Android Beam, which uses NFC connections to send information between Android smartphones, will be dropped from Android Q, but Google is already preparing its replacement in a feature named Fast Share.

The feature, dubbed ‘Fast Share’, is set to replace the NFC-based Android Beam sharing method Google introduced with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in 2011. Google has confirmed its plans to deprecate the API in the final version of Android Q scheduled for release later this year.

Fast Share on Android can be used to share images and other files on your phone – as well as URLs and snippets of text – “to nearby devices without internet.” It’s available from the system share sheet with the feature currently using Google’s blue diamond-shaped Nearby icon. Alternatively, the sharing process can be launched by heading to system settings> Google > Fast Share.

The process for Fast Share retains the simplicity of Android Beam, as smartphone owners are only required to enter a Device name and turn on the feature, while Bluetooth and Locations are enabled. Once the two smartphones detect each other, a full-screen user interface will appear to show what is being shared as well as a progress indicator.

The recipient will get notification to “Accept” or “Decline” the transfer on Android via Fast share with details like “Device name” and “connection ID.” There is also a fullscreen interface with the same controls. You can open the file right away once the transfer is complete.

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Risk is always involved while sending or receiving files. To keep this in mind, Fast Share gives you the option of “Preferred Visibility” to people that are frequent senders. Settings for the feature are available in the top-right corner of the main sharing interface.

At this point, it is little unclear how Google plans to achieve cross-platform compatibility, or whether it requires specific Android versions for functioning. But hopefully, Fast Share will prove to be that universal file sharing solution, for which we all Android fans are waiting for.

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