There are two big features that every iOS user mentions when they’re referring to some of the ways iOS is better than Android: iMessage and Airdrop.
While I don’t have a solution for iMessage on Android, I think I might have found a decent Airdrop for Android equivalent. Let me show you.
Not too long ago Google released an app for Android that was meant to help you organize the files on your phone, help you optimize storage, etc. but it happens to have a feature in it that lets you transfer files between two Android phones and it is remarkably similar to Airdrop.
It seems to me it even works in a similar way where it uses Bluetooth to find the other device, start the connection between them, but then actually uses Wifi to transfer the files between the phones much faster than a Bluetooth transfer would be. It isn’t without hiccups though, but let me show you how to use it and we can talk about those then.
Firstly, head to the Play Store on your Android phone, download, and install Files by Google.
Check out my real-world camera test video of the Nokia 9 (the phone with 5 rear cameras).
Once installed, open it and set up the app.
In here you can use the Clean and Browse features to free up storage and manage your files as I mentioned but we’re interested in the Share option at the bottom right. Tap that.
If you want to send a file, tap the Send button and if you are the receiving person, tap Receive.
Then the other person has to do the same.
This will turn on your Wifi and Bluetooth if it isn’t already on and you’ll see a pulsating circle with your name indicating it is trying to find the other device.
Once it finds the other device it’ll pop up as an option to connect to as the sender. Tap it and the receiving person will have to confirm the connection.
Once connected, you can select whatever files you want to share then hit share.
The file(s) will send (way faster than Bluetooth/Android Beam/etc., by the way, thanks to the direct Wifi connection) and when it’s done transferring, it’ll show up in a Received folder on the receiving device.
Then you can tap disconnect on either of the devices to close the connection and close the app if you’re done.
So as you can see, it’s much simpler than trying to send things over Bluetooth and more versatile than using the soon to be deprecated Android Beam and way faster than either. All in all, it feels like Android Airdrop, right? But, as you can also see, it’s not as fast or easy at starting and closing the connection between the devices like Airdrop is on iOS.
Maybe Google will update it and make it better but regardless, in the meantime, it’s the best Android users have for an Airdrop on Android it seems.
Check out my video where I do a real-world test on the Pixel 3a and see how it does during a normal day of use.
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As always, thanks for reading!