Will Google’s AirDrop-like feature “Nearby Sharing” come to Chromium-based browsers like Edge and Opera?
Looks like it will.
Before we get started, here is a video of Nearby By Sharing on Chromebook:
WebRTC medium in chromium for nearby
A recent code change request that I spotted in the Chromium code repository hints that Google will use WebRTC to bring Nearby Sharing to Chromium.
“Implement webrtc medium in chromium for nearby – Connects signaling messenger from utility process to browser process – Connects ice config fetcher from utility to browser. – Implements webrtc medium on top of chrome’s network stack.”
According to the official website, WebRTC:
“With WebRTC, you can add real-time communication capabilities to your application that works on top of an open standard. It supports video, voice, and generic data to be sent between peers, allowing developers to build powerful voice- and video-communication solutions”
There was a second code commit today for Nearby Sharing:
Implement platform specific code for Nearby Connections:
Sounds like an opensource framework that you can use to transfer data between devices. Maybe even beyond desktops and mobile phones? Who knows.
This also looked like going into the Chromium code and not just Chrome code.
A third code commit, submitted while I was writing this article, gives more clues about Nearby Sharing for Chromium:
Code on GitHub
With that, let me take you to the GitHub library for Nearby Sharing:
“Nearby Connections is a high level protocol on top of Bluetooth/WiFi that acts as a medium-agnostic socket. Devices are able to advertise, scan, and connect with one another over any shared medium (eg. BT <-> BT). Once connected, the two devices share a list of all supported mediums and attempt to upgrade to the one with the highest bandwidth (eg. BT -> WiFi). The connection is encrypted, reliable, and fully duplex. BYTE, FILE, and STREAM payloads are all supported and will be chunked & transferred internally and recombined on the receiving device. See Nearby Connections Overview for more information.”