Bummer: Android Beam In Jelly Bean Uses Bluetooth To Transfer Files And Not Wi-Fi Direct

The Galaxy S III is packed to the brim with top-notch hardware and some software novelties. One such software feature on the S3 is S-Beam, that allows for quick sharing of files with other Galaxy S III via NFC over Wi-Fi Direct. The concept of the feature is simple – Select a bunch of files on one S3, bump the two handsets together, and then NFC will automatically setup a Wi-Fi direct connection between the devices and the file will be transferred blazingly fast from one S3 to another.

While this may seem like a trivial and useless feature to many, I cannot emphasize enough on how easier and faster this will make sharing all those HD video clips with your friends. When Google announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it stated that Android Beam has now been updated to allow for sharing of pictures and videos, making the feature much more useful. Considering NFC does not have enough bandwith to transfer videos or photos, Google should have used Wi-Fi direct for transferring the files.

They should have, but they did not. Android Beam in Jelly Bean uses Bluetooth to send over photos and videos and NOT Wi-Fi Direct. The use of Bluetooth means that the transfer process will take ages to complete, compared to the blazing fast Wi-Fi Direct. I am not even sure why Google has used Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi Direct here. All modern NFC equipped Android phones have all the required support and protocols in place for Wi-Fi Direct.

Published by

Rajesh Pandey

Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]

  • Dan Brown

    FYI, starting with bluetooth 3.0 the backend transfer is really 802.11. A trip to Wikipedia will set you straight.

    You obviously have love of technology. Keep learning and keep writing. The world need more young people like you. Thanks.

  • gaara87

    Yes but how many phones nowadays actually support bluetooth 3.0?

    • khan1989

      Well most phones that would be 4.1 jelly bean compatible will also have bluetooth 3.0. Most, not all. Just posted to make my point, which is that YOU have no point in your post.

      • gaara87

        My post was just an offtake of Dan Browns previous comment.
        And even then, majority of the phones dont have bt 3.0 . eitherways, if you can’t see the point in what i said, maybe you shouldn’t have replied.

      • Naterz

        It’s not just version support for BT. It’s profile support as well. Even most 3.0/4.0 devices don’t have the HS profile so data transfer is still slow on those. Samsung is the only manufacturer consistently using the HS profile in their phones, which all galaxy S devices have always had. Google should have used WiFi Direct.

  • James

    Here’s the point: support wifi direct and let Bluetooth with its version incompatibilities and slow transfer go die on the vine. Cannot believe Google boneheaded this up so bad. On second thought….I can.