- The Google Play Store is rolling out a feature that lets users share apps with others.
- The feature employs Android’s Nearby Share sharing system.
Google’s Nearby Share feature made its debut last year allowing Android users to share files and other details with Android devices nearby. But the feature hasn’t really been a huge addition to the OS. Now, a new trick is rolling out that will let users transfer apps to others.
Spotted by 9to5Google, a “Share” tab is now appearing on builds of the Google Play Store. This option was first showcased in December 2020 and allows users to send a copy of an app’s APK to others via Nearby Share.
What’s key is that not every app is supported by the feature. The publication found that the Stadia app was one example, while paid-for apps also aren’t available for obvious reasons. Sideloaded apps are also not included, but it’s likely you’ll have the APK saved and available to share outside of the Play Store, anyway.
The feature is pretty situational, but it does have its uses. For instance, it could be a boon for those who want to share a large, free game but don’t have access to rapid or free Wi-Fi.
How to enable app sharing in the Google Play Store
9to5Google notes that the feature is appearing for those running Google Play Store version 24.0 or newer. However, not all devices are receiving the feature simultaneously. While we found a Pixel 4a 5G running Android 11 and Play Store version 24.0.32 had the feature, a Huawei P30 Pro on Android 10 running the same Play Store version did not.
If you’re one of the lucky ones, here’s how to initiate the app sharing feature on the Google Play Store:
- Open the Play Store. Navigate to My apps & games in the app menu.
- Select the Share tab.
- To share apps with others, tap the Send button. To receive apps, tap Receive.
- On the Send apps screen, tap Continue. Nearby Share also requires that you switch on your device’s location.
- Select as many apps as you wish on the next screen by selecting their checkboxes. When complete, hit the green triangle in the top-right.
- Before the transfer can begin, you’ll need to search for and select a recipient. At this point, ask the intended recipient to complete steps 1 through 3 as required.
- Once the connection is established, both users will need to double-check that the four-digit pairing code matches. If so, the recipient can hit Receive.
- The download will then begin, and the recipient can hit Install alongside individual apps, or Install all.
Interestingly, once the two devices establish a connection via Nearby Share, both users can act as sender or recipient. A “Send apps” button allows the recipient to do just that, while the sender will see a “Send more apps” option instead.
Have you given the Google Play Store app sharing feature a try? Let us know in the comments below.