Chrome OS 91 rolling out with Nearby Share launch

Get a free Techzine subscription!

The latest release of Chrome strives to match the facility of Apple features such as AirDrop

This week Google rolled out Chrome OS 91. The new release sports many new features, bowever one new addition stands out among the others.

In Chrome OS 91, Google is finally bringing its Nearby Share feature onto its Chromebooks. For those unfamiliar, Nearby Share was initially discovered in 2020 which is basically Google’s answer to AirDrop, except for Android. It did have some features that AirDrop doesn’t have, like sharing apps.

From Quick Settings, you can enable “Nearby visibility” for five minutes. This opens settings and a sheet showing other Chrome OS and Android devices around you. You can quickly send images, text/URLs, and other files over Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), WebRTC, or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi.

Alexander Kuscher, head of Google Chrome OS software, just introduced the Nearby Share feature for Chromebook users in a blog post earlier this month. As the name suggests, it makes it easier for Chromebook users to share content with nearby devices, such as Android tablets/smartphones, and other laptops running Chrome OS.

This week he detailed the feature in another blog post. “Earlier this year we announced that Nearby Share is coming to Chromebooks,” he starts. This will allow users to “quickly and securely share files between your Chromebook and other Chrome OS or Android devices. It’s rolling out today, alongside new additions like wallpapers, app notifications and an easier way to share files for offline use.”

In addition to Nearby Share …

“We’ve added new wallpapers and account images for Chromebooks,” Kuscher says. “Artist Leo Natsume created these fun, digitally-sculpted designs. The bright, cheerful scenes are great for kids or adults,” he adds.

To check them out, go to Quick Settings, then “Personalization,” or right-click your desktop and select “Set wallpaper,” the “Imaginary.”

The update should already be live so if you own a Chromebook, make sure you’re updated to Chrome OS 91 and Nearby Share should be available to you, and all you need to do is turn it on for both your phone and Chromebook and you’re all set.