A new method of communications between Android and iOS devices might be available soon, as a sources indicate that the two device types could share photos, files, messages, directions and other content through Google’s Copresence service. The service appeared in the latest version of the Google Play Services Android application package (APK), allowing some clues to be collected on how a service could tie the two operating systems together.
Android Police was tipped off on the new service, something that falls in line with previous reports the publication made on a service called Nearby. Nearby would allow users to “do more with people, places and things” near them, allowing Google to access Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the microphone of a device to determine a precision location. The service would then allow people to connect and share with those around them, though users could limit who they are visible to. The service brings together the technology of two companies Google acquired in the last year, Bump and SlickLogin.
The cross-platform Copresence service would allow devices to connect using either location data or Bluetooth for verification, achieving much of the same functionality as Nearby. Android Police states that the ultrasonic authentication method that Google uses for Chromecast could be used as well. Information shared between the devices would be transferred over either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi Direct. The service seems to be a mix between Android Beam and Apple’s AirDrop or Continuity features, depending if it will extend to the Chrome browser or not.
According to the source of the information, the release of Copresence is coming from Google in “the coming weeks.” TechAerisposted the tip from the source, who was also able to discover “banner images for setup, explanations of how the service works, and XML’s defining the layouts of the setup app” in the APK.
There is some information in developer areas to confirm that Copresence exists. The Copresence feature is available as an experimental API now through Chrome’sdeveloper channel. There have also been notes about open-sourcing the API, along with various bug reports on the service.