Google is reportedly working on an AirDrop-style local file transfer system for Android (and iOS) devices called “Copresence.” According to Android Police, the new feature will be built around the NFC-based Android Beam that’s already built into Android, and will allegedly be facilitated through Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi direct. Code found in Google Play Services also points to the existence of such a feature, which may work across computers with Chrome, too.
One of the headlining features of Apple’s iOS 8 update is the ability to seamlessly switch between devices, known as Continuity, and Copresence could help Google bring similar functionality to the Android ecosystem. The search giant did quietly acquire Bump late last year, so perhaps the company’s technology will be used for the new initiative. The images at the head of this post—which are decidedly Material Design—are supposedly meant to teach users how Copresence works.
Android Police says Google’s ambitions for Copresence are “high,” suggesting the service could allow users to easily exchange more than just basic information. Whether it will act like Apple’s Continuity feature remains to be seen. We’ve seen focus turn toward handing off data and ensuring experiences are synced across multiple devices. Nextbit, a company with former Android execs, is working on a project for CyanogenMod, while Apple is already leading the charge.
At the very least, Google is seemingly looking for a way to make it easier than ever to share files across multiple platforms. Whether it will go deeper than that remains to be seen. According to Android Police’s source, Copresence is expected to launch “in the coming weeks.” That’s a pretty vague timeframe, but with Android 5.0 on the horizon, perhaps we’ll see some major news drop soon.