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Android 11 set to introduce Fast Share, an Apple AirDrop rival

Google is planning to include a so-called Fast Share feature within Android 11, judging by the latest developer preview of the forthcoming update.

The feature, first rumoured in July last year, would be akin to Apple’s AirDrop, which makes it possible to quickly send files between iOS and MacOS device. The references to Fast Share appeared within Android 11 DP2, which was released to developers on Wednesday.

9to5Google found a note that explains the feature in the context of it not working properly yet. Apparently there’s an issue when attempting to use Fast Share to exchange files between a pair of Pixel 4 devices right now.

The note reads: “When sharing files with Fast Share between two Pixel 4 devices, the operation completes successfully, but the UI on the device which receives the file states that it did not receive the file.”

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Google was rumoured to be debuting this feature within Android 10 last summer, but it did not materialise. The Fast Share feature would have used the Nearby portion of Google Play Services in order to connect the devices via Bluetooth and transfer files over a direct Wi-Fi connection. That meant it didn’t require an internet connection.

In its state last summer, it appeared to be possible to send files between a Chromebook, Pixel 3 or Wear OS smartwatch. It’s not certain whether the feature will debut in this form in Android 11, or whether Google has rethought things completely.

The new Android 11 update is likely to be fully detailed at the online-only Google I/O, which will take place in May. Just last night we learned Google is finally fixing the glaring flaw within the Face Unlock feature on the Pixel 4. When Android 11 is out, the feature will actually require you to have your eyes open.

The actual roll out of Android 11 is likely to take place this autumn alongside the launch of the Pixel 5 smartphone range.

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