AirDrop: what alternatives for transferring files to Android in 2022?

Apple still poses as a model of fast file sharing between devices with its AirDrop, but is caught up on the Android side. Many options have also been developed in recent years, which are improving over time.

Admittedly, Apple quickly positioned itself on this technology and knew how to communicate to make it attractive. Still, on the Android side, the offer is also bloated. So here are some alternatives to AirDrop if you have one. android smart phone.

Proximity Sharing, the default tool to favor

Gone are the days of sharing music, ringtones or wallpapers on laptops via infrared, where the two devices had to be glued together to work. Now sharing even large files can be done with the snap of a finger, although you always have to stay close for it to work.

If you have a Google Pixel or Samsung smartphone, for example, Nearby Sharing is accessible by default in the shortcuts panel by swiping down from the top of the screen. In just a few actions, the option is activated and allows you to share your music or photos almost instantly with a loved one. This proximity sharing, or Nearby Share in English, only arrived on Android devices, ChromeOS and Windows computers in 2020. The tool aimed to replace the one already existing at Google while strongly improving it and thus offering a real AirDrop with Android sauce.

If the functionality had initially been launched in the form of an application, it was then implemented by default on the menu of smartphones and expanded later. To make it work, just find its little icon. Once launched, the tool asks for permission to automatically enable wifi and Bluetooth, as well as the location of the device (if nothing was activated before). You can then choose to allow file sharing with everyone, only their contacts or their devices connected to the Google account (it is also possible, for example, to share a file directly from the Google Chrome browser).

The application market allows more freedom

With over a billion downloads on the Google Play Store, SHAREit is one of the most widely used file sharing apps in the world. ©Screenshot / SHAREit

File-sharing apps between smartphones have been around as long as Apple’s AirDrop. The biggest brands have their own application, while outside players have managed to impose their mark. These applications generally include many options to allow greater customization of the terms of exchanges and a way to navigate through its content more fluidly.

How to talk about such a topic without directly naming SHAREit, probably the best known and most used application to date? Launched in 2013, this tool, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and iOS, has claimed some two billion users worldwide since its creation. Its speed of access and ease of use are sufficient to explain such success. Like Google’s Proximity Sharing, SHAREit makes it possible to transfer files (photos, videos, folders, applications, etc.) at excellent speed in a few small actions to a smartphone or computer. A Lite version was released last year to further improve sharing efficiency between any smartphones that have the app. Only downside in this pretty table: the presence of many advertisements polluting the interface.

send anywhere
Send Anywhere and its sleek interface have won over millions of users. ©Screenshot/Send Anywhere

Still on the side of specialized companies, we find the very effective application Send Anywhere, developed by the Korean branch of Rakuten Symphony. The app, also available on Apple devices and on PC, requires the entry of a code to validate file transfers of up to 10 GB in its free version. The company ensures that the entire process is encrypted, from sending to receiving files. Its clear and very refined design offers a pleasant ease of use. A good point, which counterbalances the disadvantages of a very random and incomplete French translation, despite the ten years of existence of the application.

Chinese brands in good position

Chinese smartphone brands, including some are under US sanctions preventing them from using Android directly, also have their own file transfer apps.

The most successful is ShareMe, the improved version of Mi Drop, created by Xiaomi. The app has been downloaded more than a billion times on the Google Play Store and also allows files to be shared between a smartphone and a computer. Vivo also entered the market in 2016 with its application EasySharewhich emphasizes the cross-platform, the ability to share files from a smartphone to a computer, for example. This functionality is also substantially similar to the application Mobile connected from Microsoft, which allows you to directly transfer files from your smartphone to your Windows computer. Not all apps offer this service. She also stands out by offering to migrate data from her old smartphone to her new device.

Easy Share, by Vivo, allows you to transfer files to your PC. ©Screenshot / Easy Share

In concrete terms, these two applications also do not bring a lot of novelties compared to those that we have already seen. They are mainly based on the reputation of their publishing companies, known for their reliable smartphones. We prefer the EasyShare interface, cleaner and made up of better visual cues to access the various menus and submenus.

So much for a quick overview of file transfer applications on Android. A far from exhaustive tour… The Google Play Store is full of solutions, offering a saturated market for little real added value. The same functionalities are more or less offered from one application to another: Wi-Fi or Bluetooth transfers, maximum speed of approximately 40 Mb/s, smartphone memory management systems, cleaning of unnecessary data, cross-platform, etc. Even the interfaces differ very little overall, with user experiences often very neutral and built in the same way.

To find your favorite tool, the easiest way is simply to try several, to look at the reviews on the Google Play Store and to check that the chosen application is also available on iOS. Thus, you will avoid unpleasant surprises when you want to transfer to an iPhone.

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AirDrop: what alternatives for transferring files to Android in 2022?

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