Something to look forward to: Google introduced its NFC-based Android Beam file sharing back in 2011 with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The company revealed earlier this year that it would be retiring the feature in Android Q in favor of the newly discovered replacement called Fast Share, an AirDrop-like feature that looks to offer the same file sharing convenience as its iOS counterpart.
Users running Android Q beta might have noted the absence of Android Beam, that is if they regularly used the NFC-based file sharing feature in previous versions of the OS. Since the transfer speed was rather slow when it came to large files, it made more sense to either connect the sharing phones via a laptop/PC or use a third party peer-to-peer file sharing app.
Now it looks like there's a new and simpler file sharing experience coming to the latest version of Android, as spotted by 9to5Google in the Android Q Beta. Google has been working on what it calls Fast Share, a native functionality to share files that uses a device's Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection for operation, much like Apple's AirDrop.
The Fast Share option will appear under the 'share' menu with other apps and can also be launched by going to Settings>Google>Fast Share. After enabling Bluetooth and Location Services, users can share images, URLs, text snippets and other files to nearby recipients without internet.
Interestingly, recipients listed under the nearby devices menu include a Chromebook, an iPhone, a Smartwatch and a Pixel 3, suggesting that the feature would work across different platforms and form factors.
There's no official word on Fast Share from Google, but it's likely that the Android Beam's replacement will be part of the public release of Android Q that's due out in August.