Play Store now allows sharing of apps, updates with nearby phones

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Google Play Store Share Apps Nearby Devices 3

Nearby Sharing is one feature that many Android users have been clamoring for. It’s already available and we can expect more related changes will be announced. We haven’t mentioned it since mid-2020 when Nearby Sharing disappeared from some devices. It then reappeared for a wider audience. Those happened a few weeks after the feature went available in beta for some Android devices. We said non-Pixel phone would be getting Nearby Sharing too. It has come a long way from being called Fast Share to what it is now.

Google Play Store now lets you share apps and updates with nearby devices running on Android or Chrome. This improvement allows you to share between devices. There is no official announcement by Google yet the changes are available with version 24.0.

You can update the Google Play Store to see if it works. This new functionality can be very helpful. Launch the Play Store app, select the three-line menu you see in the top corner, choose ‘My apps & games’.

The page contains several tabs on top. Choose ‘Share’ and you should be able to share apps and updates. You can “Send” or “Receive” a Google Play Store app from another device.

The feature will be enabled only after an update. For it to work, you also need to provide access to your location to the Play Store. This will then enable Google, specifically the Play Store app, what devices are ready for nearby sharing.

How Google Play Store Sharing Works

Do note that not all apps on the Play Store can be sent and shared. There may be apps that are heavier in size. Those paid or side-loaded cannot be shared. Even those apps that are not publicly available can’t be shared.

The second device (nearby unit) has to accept or select the “Receive” button in the Play Store app. A pairing request will be shown with a pairing code. It’s that simple. Transfer rate will depend on the connection.

If pairing and sending are done, the recipient has to install the app. You can choose to install just one or install all apps. To finish the process, press “Disconnect”.

What’s the point of Nearby Sharing or this update on the Google Play Store when you can download apps yourself? You can save data. It’s also a simple and easy way to show your friends what you’ve been playing or what apps have you been enjoying recently.

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