Almost everything is going wireless these days on mobile, from wireless earphones to wireless charging. One thing that has been around for so long but has remained quite inconvenient is wireless file transfer. Especially these days when people need to keep their distance, transferring files to a person standing next to you needs to be fast and reliable. Some Chinese manufacturers have banded together to make that a standard among their phones and now OnePlus has joined that club.
Formally called the Peer-to-Peer Transmission Alliance, the group formed by Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo are practically banding around a technology that has already been in existence for years but never really adopted as a standard. This kind of technology uses a combination of Bluetooth for discovering and pairing with nearby devices and then switches to Wi-Fi direct to actually send files. This is almost similar to Apple proprietary AirPlay technology, sans the involvement of Bluetooth, that even Android itself has not yet made a common feature.
Google has, in fact, been less consistent with how it wanted to implement such a peer-to-peer file transfer technology. It initially went with NFC for Android Beam but that required extremely close proximity and only short bursts of data. Even Android Nearby has undergone different changes and Google seemed content to delegate that file transfer duty to its Files (formerly Files Go) app using the exact same technologies.
Perhaps tired of waiting for an Android standard, several Chinese phone makers have agreed among themselves to build the feature into their phones. This would allow instant cross-brand file transfers without users having to install a separate app just for that purpose.
Of course, this cross-brand convenience only applies to brands that are part of the alliance, which now includes OnePlus. In addition to the three founding members, the group now also includes Meizu, Realme (from OPPO), and Black Shark (from Xiaomi), covering almost all the major Chinese phone brands. Noticeably missing are Huawei and Lenovo, both of whom have their own similar implementations that only work with their own phones out of the box.