Google Play may soon allow P2P app sharing with nearby devices

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 11 Sep 2020
HIGHLIGHTS
  • A teardown of the Google Playstore app reveals an offline app sharing feature called 'Share Apps'.

  • The feature may allow Android users to share apps wirelessly with nearby devices.

  • The feature, once rolled out to the masses would be particularly helpful in getting large apps and games installed without consuming mobile data.

Google Play may soon allow P2P app sharing with nearby devices
Credits: 9to5Google

Google Play may soon support peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing of apps to help with installing apps without consuming precious mobile data. A teardown of the Google Playstore app suggests the feature is in the works, and would allow Android users to share apps wirelessly with nearby devices.

The feature sounds quite similar to the new Nearby Share feature that Google rolled out for the Pixel smartphones which allows transfer of photos, videos and files with nearby devices, much like Apple’s AirDrop.

The teardown reveals the Google Playstore app will have a dedicated ‘Send Apps’ tab where users can choose the apps installed on their devices that can be shared with nearby devices. Further, the ‘My Apps and Games’ section may be renamed to ‘Manage apps and device’, and this is where the P2P app sharing options will reside.

Google Play P2P app sharing teardown

Credit: 9to5Google

Both parties will need to be on the Share Apps section of the PlayStore, and once both parties grant the necessary permissions, Google Play will automatically begin the P2P sharing process.

The feature, once rolled out to the masses would be particularly helpful in getting large apps and games installed without consuming mobile data. It would certainly make a smartphone reviewer’s life easy, while setting up a review unit. Having said that, the P2P app sharing feature will only allow transfer of free apps and games.

The teardown of the app was reported by 9to5Google, and further research by Android Police revealed Google is using a combination of Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi Direct to transfer the apps.

While all this sounds terribly exciting, the teardown does not reveal a launch date for the feature. But going by the looks of it, it should only be a matter of time. Having a P2P app sharing feature baked into the Play Store, will help bring down data consumption and reliance on third party apps.

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