One of the things that makes the macOS ecosystem very appealing is how all your devices worth together to create a seamless user experience. This includes being able to AirDrop files from one device to another, even from your mobile device to your Mac.
Believe it or not though, there are Mac users out there who still prefer to use the Android mobile operating system over iOS or iPadOS, and while Android’s Nearby Share feature works similarly to Apple’s AirDrop, it doesn’t work with the Mac… at least not natively.
That’s where an interesting project called NearDrop by grishka on GitHub comes into play. NearDrop lives in your Mac’s Menu Bar and installs a partial implementation of Android’s Nearby Share on your Mac, effectively allowing you to ‘AirDrop’ files from your Android device to your Mac just like you could if you were using an iPhone or iPad.
At this point, NearDrop only supports receiving files from Android handsets, so it can’t be used to transfer files from macOS to Android handsets. It remains to be seen if this will come in a future update, but the developer claims not to have figured out how to make it happen yet.
Another limitation is that while native Nearby Share supports Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, and some other connection types, you can only use NearDrop on a Wi-Fi-based local area network (LAN) connection that both your Mac and Android handset are connected to since macOS doesn’t support Wi-Fi Direct.
Lastly, it should be noted that anyone on your network will be able to always see NearDrop on your computer, so there’s no way to privatize your connection only to be seen by your device or by your contacts like you can with a native Nearby Share connection.
NearDrop can be configured to start up every time you turn your Mac on by adding it to the Login Items portion of the System Settings app.
If you’re interested in checking out NearDrop, then you can download it for free from the developer’s GitHub page.
The developer of NearDrop doesn’t plan to upload it to the Mac App Store or to get the app notarized because doing so would require an annual Apple Developer subscription that the developer isn’t interested in paying. For this reason, you will need to trust the app on your own “from an unknown developer” when you install it.
Are you planning to make your Mac at least semi-compatible with receiving files from Android devices with NearDrop? Let us know why or why not in the comments section down below.