How to share apps with Android’s new Share Me Around

With the latest version of the Google Play Store, Android users can now share apps quickly using the Nearby Sharing feature.

Image: iStock / shironosov

Google has recently brought a number of really useful features to the Android platform. One such feature is Share Soon, a Bluetooth service that allows you to easily share files and other information with nearby Android devices.

Recent updates to the Google Play Store also make it possible to share apps with nearby users. For example, let’s say you have an app that you think a user should own. Instead of this user needing to go to Google Play store, search for the app, find the right app and then install the app, you can easily share with them.

However, you should be aware that not all apps can be shared this way. For example, apps that you’ve paid for or sideloaded cannot be shared.

Let’s find out how this stylish feature works.

SEE: Android 11: Cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What will you need

To use Share Around Me for apps, you must install the latest version of Google Play Store. On my Google Pixel 5 device with version 24.0.32-21. To find out your version, open the Google Play Store app on your device, tap the hamburger menu in the upper left corner, scroll down and tap Settings, and then scroll to the bottom of the window to find Play Store Version Information.

Both the sender and the recipient must have the latest version of Google Play and also have Sharing Soon enabled.

How to enable Sharing Around Me

Open the Settings app on your Android device to enable Sharing Around Me. Scroll down and tap on the Google entry. On this screen, tap on Device Connections and then Nearby Sharing and then make sure the On / Off slider is set to On (Figure A).

Figure A


Enabling Nearby Sharing on Android 11.

Once Nearby Sharing is enabled on both the sending and receiving devices, you’re ready to share an app.

How to share apps via Share Me Around

Open the Google Play Store on the sending device. Tap the hamburger menu directly to the left of the search bar, then tap My Apps & Games. At the top of this window, you should see a Share tab (Figure B).

Figure B


Share tab in Google Play Store app.

Tap the Share tab and in the window that opens, click the Send button (Figure C).

Figure C


The Application Sharing window allows you to Send or Receive.

In the window that opens, scroll through the list of installed apps and select the app you want to send via Nearby Share (Figure D).

Figure D


Select the application to share.

Once you’ve made your selection, tap the green Send button (the green arrow pointing to the right) in the upper right corner. A list of available devices will appear. Select the receiving device and wait for the recipient to accept the incoming application. The buyer should open the Share tab in Google Play Store and then tap Get. The recipient will be presented with a pairing code that must match the senders. If the codes do not match, do not accept (Figure E).

Figure E


A sharing code is presented to the buyer.

The recipient then taps Install and the app installs (Figure F).

Figure F


Installing the app after receiving it via Close Share.

Ok, that’s not exactly the most efficient method of installing an app. However, when you want to make this as easy as possible for others, Nearby Share takes some guesswork from the picture. This is especially true when trying to get a friend or colleague to install an app that isn’t the easiest to find on the Google Play Store.

Thanks to Nearby Sharing, sharing various types of data on Android devices has become significantly easier.

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