Google's Nearby Share seems to be testing out a new 'self share' option that eliminates the need for approval, making file transfers between Android devices more streamlined than before.

Mishaal Rahman, Technical Editor for Android cloud platform Esper, noticed a change in Nearby Share that could make the feature a proper AirDrop competitor. The new option, called ‘self share,’ has appeared in the newest version of Google Play Services but doesn’t seem to have officially rolled out to everyone yet.

Group of teenage girls checking their phones on a sofa

Nearby Share is functionally similar to AirDrop in that it lets you share files between nearby devices, but you always need to approve the transfer, which slows the process down. According to Rahman, self share looks to do away with the approval step—so long as both devices are signed into the same Google account.

Currently, the option is tucked under Nearby Share's Device Visibility option in the latest Google Play Services build. When selecting Your Devices, it states that "Only devices that are signed into [your Google account email] can share with this device. You won't need to approve sharing from your devices."

Man holding two phones

Thus far, Google hasn't commented on Nearby Share's self share option, so we can't be sure when (or even if, really) it will see a wider release.

Though as Android Police points out, the inclusion of the new option in Google Play Services could also mean that self share will be rolling out soon. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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