Google Play may soon natively support peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing of apps, a teardown of the Google Play store app has suggested. The new offering would allow Android users to share their apps with nearby devices. It is likely to work similar to Nearby Share, the feature that Google brought in August to enable P2P sharing of files such as photos and videos as well as links. Google Play is found to have a dedicated “Send apps” page from where users would be able to share their apps with their friends and colleagues around their location.
As per the teardown conducted by 9to5Google, the Google Play store is seen to have an updated “My apps & games” section in the works that could be redesigned as “Manage apps & device.” This is seen to have a Share apps option through which users would be able to share their apps with nearby devices.
The Share apps option will let users select whether they want to send or receive an app. Once any of the choices has been selected, the Google Play would bring the Send apps page to let users begin the P2P sharing of apps.
Alongside providing the Share apps option, the teardown reveals that Google could allow sharing of individual apps directly from the redesigned My apps section. Both parties in the sharing process would be required to open the Google Play store and connect to each other to send or receive apps. Android Police reports that the apps would be sent over using a combination of Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi Direct. This is unlike Nearby Share that enables sharing of files and links using Bluetooth, NFC, or Wi-Fi.
The P2P sharing of apps on Google Play is likely to be provided only for free apps, and paid apps aren't likely to be supported by the feature. Moreover, there isn't any definite timeline on when it would arrive for end users.
Back in October 2018, Google enabled offline P2P sharing of apps for third parties including SHAREit and Xender. The new revelation, thus, seems to be an expansion of the earlier development and would be aimed at reducing users' dependency on third-party apps.
Is Android One holding back Nokia smartphones in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.