Google launches an app to send files over WiFi just by being nearby

The WiFi is the wireless standard most commonly used worldwide. Thanks to it, we can establish wireless communications between devices with ease and high transfer rates. The problem is that most of them are done through an access point, and it is still difficult to find an alternative to AirDrop on Android. For this reason, Google has launched an application that is based on a standard of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Fast Share began to develop two years ago and wants to become the alternative to AirDrop on Android, while other devices have proprietary solutions such as Xiaomi Mi Share. Now, Google has launched a new application called WifiNanScan App , which allows developers for now to see the distance that two devices are from each other and send data to each other using WiFi Aware .

WiFi Aware – the Wi-Fi Alliance proximity standard

WiFi Aware is a technology that is based on Neighbor Awareness Networking (NAN) , and is compatible with mobiles with Android 8 and later. The function allows you to search, find and connect to devices directly without having to have other devices nearby such as a router. With it, it is possible to send information to each other, such as messages or even files.

The function, being based on WiFi connectivity , supports much higher traffic than Bluetooth , and also does so at a greater distance . Its precision is quite good, since it has a margin of error of one meter with mobiles that are at a distance of up to 15 meters from each other.

The WifiNanScan app is aimed at research, demonstration and development for future implementations in other apps or directly in the operating system in a native way. Among the examples that Google gives, the app allows you to send a document to a printer without having to log into the network. It can also allow you to download the menu of a closed restaurant that we pass through to see it, or simply to sign in at a company or universities.


WifiNanScan App

Developer: Developed with Google

Could be used to replace DNI

Google also gives as an example that, with this app, it is possible that identification cards such as the electronic DNI , passport or driver’s license are replaced , which can also be a control and surveillance mechanism of citizenship, and that currently would attack European data protection laws. As WiFi Aware is proposed, the user can always choose whether or not to activate the function and if they want their identity to be known by other devices or apps on the system itself.

Heading into Android 12 , Google has also integrated other Wi-Fi Aware-related features, such as increased energy efficiency and faster reconnection in the event of a loss.

Google also launched an app called WifiRttScan two years ago that used Wi-Fi Round Trip Time to position people indoors as an alternative to GPS. Hopefully these features will gradually be included in all Android phones.


by Abdullah Sam
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