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Nearby share on Chrome OS just got better

by Dan Millward

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Nearby share on the Chromebook has just got a whole lot better

I use my Chrome OS computers on a daily basis to write posts for my blog. Whether I’m using my Chromebox or one of my Chromebooks one thing I cannot do without is Nearby share.

I’ve been using Nearby share for over a year and it saves me so much time. I noticed something earlier when sharing photos from my Android phone, which has now made Nearby share even better. I’m not really sure when this change took place, but I absolutely love it.

Anyone who really takes advantage of Nearby share is most likely someone who finds convenience and speed something that is essential. Anything to help you be more productive throughout the day is surely a good thing. This is exactly why I use Nearby share to send photos from my phone to my Chromebook.

What is Nearby share?

Nearby share gives you the ability to easily share files from your Android phone and your Chrome OS computer. Whether that is documents, photos or videos. Using Nearby share is a great way to share your files. Find out how to use Nearby share on your Chromebook.

I’ve never been that great at taking photos that look good for my blog. This is one of the reasons why I previously used generic photos from the internet. However, I’m also well aware that website posts are more engaging when the photos are obviously taken by the person writing the article.

Because of this, I’ve been using my phone a lot more to take photos for my blog. Before using Nearby share I used to email the photos from my phone to myself. I then used to download the photos from my email address on my Chromebook. I did not like doing this because I’m a strong believer that tech should be slick and any step that goes against that is something I’m uncomfortable with.

What about uploading photos to Google Drive

Apart from emailing photos to myself from my phone to download on my Chromebook. Yes, I know, the logic just isn’t there. The other option I used to use was to upload my photos to Google Drive. However, this still meant I had to upload my photos to Google Drive from my phone, and then download them for editing on my Chromebook.

Nearby share message to accept incoming files from an Android phone
A nearby share message to accept incoming files on your Chromebook

Two steps, which felt totally alien to me but were the easiest way for me to get photos from my phone to my Chromebook. Sure, uploading photos to Google drive felt more logical than emailing them, and it also meant I could easily find them in the future. However, it is a total waste of bandwidth, and if you were away from home it would be using up your mobile data.

Another option of course is to use a cable to connect your phone directly to your Chromebook. I don’t know about you, that doesn’t sound very appealing, especially if it’s something you do on a daily basis.

That’s why I love Nearby share

Nearby share is a much more logical solution to sharing files from your Android phone to your Chromebook. It’s fair to say it hasn’t always worked as well as it could do. Sometimes it felt like it was a lot slower than at other times.

The good news is in the past few months it has gotten a whole lot quicker. I simply take photos on my phone, hit the share icon, and click on Nearby share. The file is then sent to my Chromebook almost instantly.

The one step that used to frustrate me was having to enable nearby share on my Chromebook each time. This may sound like a small step, but when you’re doing something on a daily basis you want it to work seamlessly.

Nearby share is now better than ever

One thing I noticed when I was sharing files from my phone today. Was that I did not need to choose the nearby share option on my Pixelbook Go. Instead, a pop-up message appeared automatically at the bottom right of my desktop. I simply had to hit the enable button and my Chromebook was then visible to my phone.

Nearby enable message showing on my Pixelbook Go
A message automatically appears on my Pixelbook to enable nearby share

This has just made using Nearby share even more enjoyable to use than it was previously. I’m really glad to see that the Chrome OS team continues to offer us new functionality. Whilst ensuring functionality we already have is given small tweaks to make our daily lives even easier.

If you’ve not yet used nearby share I would strongly recommend giving it a try. Once you’ve used it a couple of times you’ll never share files from your phone to your Chromebook via email again.

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