The Android mobile phone platform has provided many options for “throwing” files between devices.
Firstly, there was the Bluetooth “object-push” profile where you can share material between devices that have this protocol and are set up for it. This includes Android and Symbian-based mobile phones and some devices like a few Bluetooth printers and printing kiosks.
There was the subsequent arrival of the “Bump” ecosystem which allowed you to transfer the files via Internet after you “bump” the phones next to each other. This implemented a “recognised bump” pattern to register users with this system.
Next the Android platform integrated Near-Field Communication as part of the Ice Cream Sandwich iteration and implemented the file transfer as a specific function called “Android Beam”. This was exemplified in the TV advertising that Samsung did for the popular Galaxy S II phone and Samsung’s “super variant” of that function where two people touched each others’ phones to each other.
Now that most newer Android devices come with Wi-Fi Direct, a new app has been launched to enable one to “throw” files between these devices using this method. The app which is called WiFi Shoot and is currently in beta version, exposes itself as a “share” option for images and videos and can transmit the images or videos; or receive any of these files.
There are plans to open it up to a larger array of content types once the bugs are ironed out of it. Similarly, it could support “throwing” of files to and from other non-Android devices that use Wi-Fi Direct as a file-transfer or object-transfer method such as printers that could print photos or Windows PCs that have the appropriate software.
I see this as another way that the Android platform is working towards a level and competitive playing field for activities involving mobile computing.