It is common knowledge that Apple iOS devices are safer than Android and I agree with that. One reason, is that you do not find pre-installed spyware or malware on iPhones (more below). Also, there is no consistency with Android. No expert can tell someone how to configure an Android device because they all have a different set of options. This is illustrated below in the item about factory resets after too many bad passwords.
This is Google's version of AirDrop. It transfers files and/or apps. It started rolling out in August 2020. Originally called Fast Share, then called Nearby Sharing and finally Nearby Share. Nearby Share works with Android devices running version 6 and later, and with Chromebooks. When it was first released, Google blogged about it.
To turn Nearby Share off: Settings -> Google -> Devices & Sharing -> Nearby Share. I verified this on Android 10 and 12.
After reading this August 2020 article, it seems too complicated to setup, too complicated to use and miserably documented. My guess is that it will be ignored.
Technologies: It requires Location Services and Bluetooth to be enabled. It can make transfers even when devices are not on-line. It automatically chooses one of these protocols: Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, NFC, WebRTC, UWB or peer-to-peer WiFi. It is said to use Bluetooth for device discovery. I found conflicting information on how data is transferred. One source said it uses Wi-Fi Direct. Another source said it will only work when devices are very close together, perhaps just one foot, which is not true of Wi-Fi direct.
Configure: You can configure Nearby Sharing so that a device is either hidden, visible to some contacts, visible to all contacts , visible to just your own devices or visible to everyone in the world. Visible to everyone can be enabled on a temporary basis. Originally, the recipient had to approve any transfer before it happens. As of September 2022, if you are transferring something between devices that are logged into the same Google account, then the recipient does not have to approve it.
Google seems to be spying on your sharing activity. In this September 2022 article, How we're making it easier to share files with nearby devices someone from Google was asked about sharing between devices using the same Google account. The response: "... this is one of the most common ways people use Nearby Share."
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January 26, 2024