Google is developing a new file-sharing tool called Fast Share. Which is not only a replacement for Android Beam, but also a competitor to Apple AirDrop.
Screenshots show that the Fast Share file sharing tool allows “Share with nearby devices without the need for an Internet”. Just like Android Beam. The service uses Bluetooth to initiate a handshake and then transfer files over a direct Wi-Fi connection instead of NFC. Which allows it to transfer larger files faster than Android Beam.
The file sharing process appears to be similar to Apple’s AirDrop file sharing service. Which can send one or more files to another device by selecting the desired file. And selecting the “Quick Sharing” option in the shared worksheet menu. Then, once the device appears in the scan menu, you can choose which device to send to. The event currently shows universal sharing goals, including Chromebooks, Google Pixel 3, iPhones and smartwatches.
To be sure, the service will support sending and receiving files on Android devices with Google Play services installed. However, whether Fast Share requires a specific version of the Android operating system is undetermin.