Quick Share from Samsung and Google is going live now — and it's the best AirDrop copycat yet

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra back
(Image credit: Future)

Sharing photos and files between Android phones is about to get easier with the arrival of Quick Share. This file transfer feature, which basically mimics the iPhone's AirDrop feature but for Android, is is starting to roll out to Google Pixel devices after it was first announced earlier this month at CES.

A joint effort between Samsung and Google, Quick Share integrates the companies' file sharing experience under a single name as the default sharing method for Android devices and Chromebooks. Quick Share has already appeared on the newly launched Galaxy S24 devices, giving users of that phone an easy way to wirelessly transfer photos, files and other information.

Now, a growing number of people are reporting they're now seeing Quick Share on their Pixel phones, replacing Google’s previous Nearby Share feature. As of this writing, it appears the feature is only available to Pixel owners, though it will eventually roll out to other Android phones. Google has also promised that Quick Share will eventually be included with Windows PCs as well.

Now that it’s available for Android, though, it’s important to know how to use Quick Share So read on for more on Google Quick Share and how to use the feature on your Android handset.

What is Google Quick Share and how does it compare to Nearby Share?

Quick Share on Android

(Image credit: Future)

Apple’s AirDrop allows you to easily send files, including photos, videos, and other content to other iOS users who are nearby with a simple tap of an icon. Android users have had the same wireless ability to share content with friends, but there was a problem — there was no unified approach to file sharing.

Specifically, Google had one option for sharing called Nearby Share and Samsung had its own Quick Share. Users with Google’s Nearby Share could only share content to others on that platform while Samsung phone users could only share content to other Samsung devices using Quick Share.

The new Google Quick Share is the result of an agreement with Samsung that allows Android users to share content over the air with any other Android user by adopting Quick Share as the default wireless sharing tool across the entire ecosystem. With Google Quick Share, it’ll now be easier than ever to share photos and videos with other Android users.

How do I get Google Quick Share?

Google Quick Share will be automatically downloaded to your Android device via an over-the-air update. As of this writing, Google’s Pixel handsets are getting that update and other Android devices will likely get it over time as their manufacturers update their operating systems. Going forward, Quick Share will be baked into future  versions of Android.

How do I use Google Quick Share?

If you’re used to using Nearby Share on your Android handset, you’ll be happy to know the process for sharing is identical with Quick Share. In fact, the first time you try to use Quick Share on your device, you’ll see a notice from Google alerting you to the change by saying, “Nearby Share is now Quick Share. Look for the new name and icon to share with nearby devices.”

To use Quick Share, first choose the file, photo or video you want to share with someone and tap the Share icon beneath the image. Look for the icon that says Quick Share at the bottom of your screen and tap that. Your phone will then display the nearby devices you can share to. Pick one and your content will be shared to that person’s device.

Be aware that Quick Share is designed for sharing to nearby devices. So if you’re not in close proximity with someone else you want to share with, Quick Share won’t be your best option.

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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.