Earlier last summer, there were reports that Google was developing a feature that would let Android handsets alert users to the presence of other users in the vicinity. At that time, the feature was dubbed as "Nearby" and was further described as a feature designed to facilitate interaction between different Android devices located close to each other. Now, reports are surfacing again -- this time suggesting that the feature will not only allow Android-to-Android interaction, but also Android-to-iOS capabilities as well. As reported by Android Police, the feature is being called "Copresence" (it is possible that the name is not official yet and merely a designation for internal purposes). Copresence is supposedly created to allow Android and iOS devices to communicate with each other in a lot of ways. Much like a cross-platform version of Android Beam, the feature allows users regardless of mobile OS to share and exchange content, whether it be files, photos, messages, or even directions. It is a neat idea, but begs the question: how do the two devices deal with authenticating with one another? Reportedly, the participating devices would use location information or Bluetooth. Perhaps Google will be utilizing a technology similar to the “whisper” ultra-sonic authentication process used in allowing Chromecast to connect from other networks.
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