Google’s Nearby Share feature in the Files app is paving the way for simplified file sharing among Android users, Chromebooks, and Windows PCs. Known as a critical element in stock Android, the Files app is now stepping into a new era of functionality. Recently, it has introduced the ability to share entire folders without disturbing the folder structure, matching a similar feature available on Apple’s AirDrop.

Nearby Share: A Maturing Feature

Nearby Share is a feature that continues to grow within the Android ecosystem. With its recent update, users can now share entire folders via Nearby Share, making it more versatile and easy to use.

  • It’s easy to share folders using Nearby Share by long-pressing the folder and tapping the Nearby Share icon.
  • This feature allows users to send folders from any Android device to other Android devices, Chromebooks, or Windows PCs.
  • Well-known Android feature spotter Mishaal Rahman was among the first to notice this functionality, which could have been spotted as early as May.
  • Folder sharing is limited to Google’s Files app; attempts to send folders using Samsung’s built-in file manager were unsuccessful.
  • For those unable to send folders, compressing them into a single zipped file is an alternative, although direct folder sharing eliminates the need for workarounds.

Comparison with Apple’s AirDrop

This addition brings Nearby Share one step closer to being a true rival to Apple’s AirDrop. While the ability to share entire folders is a minor change, it does present significant time-saving implications by allowing mass selection of files without choosing each one individually. The fact that iPhones have had this capability for some time shows that Google’s Nearby Share is catching up in terms of user-friendliness and efficiency.

Availability and Limitations

Though some may find the folder-sharing feature already available on their phones, it’s essential to note some caveats. Google Files has indicated that Nearby Share has a 1,000-file limit. And as Android Police noted, folder sharing is likely exclusive to Google’s Files app. If you have never used Nearby Share before, you can find a comprehensive guide on how to use Nearby Share on Android.

Competition with Other Platforms

By adding a feature that has been available on Apple’s AirDrop, Google is sending a clear message that it aims to offer competitive and comparable features. This move keeps Android devices attractive to current users and may even lure those considering a switch between platforms. The ongoing competition between tech giants is likely to foster further innovations and enhancements in file sharing and other functionalities.


The update in Nearby Share to allow folder sharing is a welcome move, offering practical utility and a step towards enhancing user experience. While it may not revolutionize how we share files, this incremental addition is a promising sign of Google’s commitment to developing and expanding the Android platform’s capabilities. The convergence between platforms, seen in the mirroring of features like this between Android and iOS, illustrates the growing parity in mobile technology. With the rollout of this feature expected to continue, it represents a broader move to make technology more accessible and simple for everyday use.

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