Android Beam definition

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Enterprise mobile security smackdown: iOS vs. Android vs. Windows
Contributor(s): Colin Steele

Android Beam is a Near Field Communication (NFC) implementation that allows two Android mobile devices to transfer data between each other.

Beam has been a feature of the Android operating system since the release of version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in 2011. The feature works by holding two Android mobile devices back to back. The sender's device screen must display which files are to be shared. If that content is compatible with Beam, the recipient will be presented with the option to accept the data transfer. 

Android Jelly Bean, added Bluetooth support to Beam, allowing for the transfer of larger photo and video files.

This was first published in July 2013

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