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Android L Features: Android Beam Now a Part of Share Menu

android L beam

In Android L, Google has included Android Beam in the sharing menu, making it arguably easier to share items using NFC.

When you go to share an item now in the L version of Android, you will see an icon for Android Beam, along with your icons for Drive or Box or Dropbox or any other app capable of sharing. Once Android Beam has been tapped, your device will tell you to “Tap another device to complete,” which then sends the item as soon as the second device is touched. 

Previously, Beam sharing had to be initiated by tapping two devices together, which then prompts the user to tap the screen to send. While this new method isn’t all that much different from that, I often found the old method awkward to tap two devices together, then press the screen to send. With this slight tweak, you now initiate the Beam by yourself, then tap devices together to complete the share, so there isn’t a last minute finger press on the screen with devices touching, if that makes sense.

If you are running Android L, give it a shot and tell us if this method is easier than the original or not.

  • Sergey

    That’s brilliant! They should have done this before because I bet 99% of users don’t even know they have NFC or how to actually use it. Now at least someone will see it and try it out.

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  • Fernando Landaverde

    My wife and I use this all the time. It was quick and easy. Can it still be sent without the extra step?

  • https://www.facebook.com/christopher.johnsc chris_johns

    bean should include bluetooth/wifi sharing when its a file not capable of just nfc…just my opionion there are a lot of apps to do this but i feel it should be just built into android beam from the get

    • PuzzleShot

      it does that for photos at least

  • Jay Ward

    Why beam when I can Bluetooth?
    Serious question, not trolling

    • Chris Cain

      If you don’t mind going through pairing and such with bluetooth (which is probably appropriate if you’re sharing between devices you share to often, such as things you own), then that’s fine.

      Beaming is more of a “one-time” sorta thing that handles the handshake/pairing process for you, making it closer to “one click” and making it simple for sharing with other people’s phones… because you probably don’t want to always be paired with your friends’ phones all the time…

  • ddevito

    They should have, if they aren’t already, improved Beam’s functionality. I find this clunky, my wife and I own a Moto X and it’s a pain to do this – let alone if you try it with different phones.

    I thought they were going to replace this with the rumored android “near” functionality. it would be cool if they replaced it with the the way the Chromecast detects devices in its vicinity

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      You guys should try SuperBeam. It’s infinitely superior. I use it all the time between my Nexus 5 and my wife’s GS3. You can send pretty much anything.

  • SamBoy

    Great now we have even more things to search threw when we wanna share things.

    • ddevito

      you are the 1%, the rest of us find this to be one of Android’s biggest strengths.

      • jb

        You might have that the other way around

        • Justin W

          If it’s the other way around of your other way around, then I think his other way around is the correct way around.

          • jb

            k..

      • SamBoy

        Yea how many apps and clicks does it take to share a photo or he’ll even text one?

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      I f*cking hate the new Disqus now that downvotes don’t accumulate.

  • Wall Breaker

    Does anyone know if Google is going to release multiple Previews before full release of L or just this one?

    I loved using it but had to stop because hangouts/sms wouldn’t work at all.

    • ddevito

      I don’t, but would imagine there will be multiple pre releases before official launch.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Same here. I ran it for about two full days but had to flash back to 4.4.4 because it just wasn’t stable enough. Maybe once more apps are updated to L I might try it again.

      It would be nice though, if Google started pushing out OTA’s to the people currently using the L preview. I would flash back in a second if I knew this was happening.

  • Jon

    Does doing this automatically turn NFC on if it was previously off?

    • ddevito

      I would imagine it would need to be turned on and Android Beam running for it to show up

      • Boblank84

        i used it from my nexus 7 to nexus 5, both had nfc enabled but nothing else. only my nexus 7 was on the L build, it transfered to the nexus 5 and created a folder on the sdcard called beamed or something like that.

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  • Ray

    Nice now will i get android L on my LG G3 before Christmas?

  • Carlos Lopez

    How’s the battery been since flashing Kellen? I’ve seen some pretty great battery life over at xda but I’m still a bit hesitant to switch back to my N5

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Eh, nothing to brag about imo. Nexus 5 never had great battery life and seems about the same to me. Take it off the charger at 7am, need juice well before I go to bed.

      • Carlos Lopez

        Ah alright, guess I’ll just wait. Thanks for the reply!

      • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

        Hey, are you guys going to pump out a One+ One review? I don’t think I’m getting it anymore, but still curious to hear your thoughts.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Battery life for me was absolutely terrible. Off the charger at 8am and looking for juice by 5pm. On 4.4.4 I can go until 11pm. It’s strange, because I was really looking forward to the battery “improvements.” But like Kellen said below, the Nexus 5 doesn’t have great battery life, just barely average.