Last year Google promised to bring Near Share to Chromebooks as well. In case you’re not familiar, Near Share is a peer-to-peer file transfer system, similar to Apple’s AirDrop. Well, Google is finally keeping its promise with the release of the Chrome OS 91 update over the stable channel. The latest version of Chrome OS is already being rolled out gradually, with support from Near Share in tow.
“Earlier this year, we announced that Near Share was available for Chromebooks so you can quickly and securely share files between your Chromebook and other Chrome OS or Android devices. It’s launched today, along with new additions like wallpapers, app notifications, and an easier way to share files for offline use. “ said the company in its blog post.
Near Share uses Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, WebRTC, or Peer-to-Peer WiFi to create a bridge between two nearby devices for file sharing. The new file sharing tool will appear in the Connected Devices section of the Settings menu on your Chromebook. And just like Android phones, you can customize the visibility preference along with attributes like device name and data usage habits. Thanks to Nearby Share, you can transfer pictures, videos, links, etc. from your phone to your Chromebook and vice versa.
Chrome OS 91 also introduces some additional features. The first are notification badges, similar to what you may have seen on your phone. If there are now pending notifications for an app, you will see a small bubble in the corner of the app icon informing you of an action that needs your attention. Of course, you have the option to turn them off by going to quick settings and tapping on the “Notifications” option.
Finally, the latest stable build of Chrome OS has support for offline access to files. This works in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. More importantly, you can edit locally saved offline files even if you don’t have an internet connection. All you have to do to save a file locally for offline viewing is simply open the Files app, select the file, and click the Available offline Toggle switch shown above. However, this function will be activated later this month via a server-side switch.