Google’s Android Beam: Feature that finally discontinued by the release of Android 14

Android beam which makes its debut over a decade ago, the feature has finally been discontinued by the release of Android 14. Although the same had already been taking a dim view with Android 10. And hence this might not be a big deal, but there are intrinsic issues with this move.

For users who are not aware of the Android Beam. It’s a feature of the Android mobile operating system that allowed users to pair/Connect two devices to transfer data to each other. In order to initiate the feature, two devices would be touching each other. Both should have both NFC as well as Android 4.0.  It allowed the rapid short-range exchange of web bookmarks, contact info, directions, YouTube videos, and other data. Once the process was initialised, the files could be transferred over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The primary advantage of transferring files through this process is that there’s no need to set up a connection in advance. All you need to had NFC and Android Beam enabled, and the process works seamlessly and smooth.

At the time when Android Beam was introduced, data transfer is their inception stage. And this would consider a very simple and appropriate solution to transfer data or files to someone. Although it doesn’t catch any attraction and as time passed, various substantial technologies emerged, that made it easier to send data to other devices. And this Android feature become out of date.

Android Open Source Project (AOSP)

But the topic of concern that how this object of virtue from the past affects those in the present. For starters, discontinuation of this feature isn’t too much of an issue because there are various alternatives available. One of the finest examples to consider is Google’s Nearby Share which too getting traction which Android Beam never received. But with the removal of this, Google has taken something from Android Open Source Project (AOSP). And recovered it with a closed source proprietary alternative.

As we are all aware of the fact that Android has almost likely always will be open source. But subsequently, over time, Google has gradually created an ecosystem on top of AOSP. With its Google Mobile Services (GMS) and Google Play Services. Unsurprisingly, these have become necessities for most and at the same time. It is proprietary with nearly all manufacturers complying with Google’s terms to have these services available on their products. Therefore, although Android is an open source project. But as of now it seems even more closed off than ever as heads toward the newer version of it.


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