What happened to 'Share App by Bluetooth'?

Hi all. Been trying to share our app with a group of people for the first time in a while, and I found that ‘Share App’ via Bluetooth has vanished in our app. Just rebuilt with the latest SAB I have (6.0.2) and it’s still not there.
It might have been slow, but Share App via Bluetooth was the simplest way to share the app and, without exaggerating, the Bible without internet in a bandwidth-poor setting, and it’s a real shame it’s gone. Any idea why?

The default app should have a menu (the three line “hamburger”) on the top left corner of the screen. If you tap that to open the menu, normally you should see Share Application around the middle of the menu (and About at the bottom). If you tap this option, it should ask if you want to share the installation (apk) file (tap that button), and then it should show you the sharing options, which should include Bluetooth. That’s a lot of "should"s… :slight_smile:

If you don’t see the sharing option, it may be that it got disabled in SAB. Check under Features, Sharing tab and make sure “Share app installer file” is checked. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you will need to explain more of what you see in your app.

Hi Jeff - Thanks for the quick response. When hit the hamburger and choose ‘Share App’ -> ‘Share App Installer File’. I have lots of options for sharing, including WhatsApp, Gmail etc, but Bluetooth is not available as an option like it used to be. I know ShareIt was an option and I used to use it, but I’ve gone off ShareIt as it’s quite a spam-heavy app that both users have to have.
So as far as I can see, it’s been disabled in SAB - unless I’m missing something. There don’t seem to be any options in SAB to turn on or off sharing via Bluetooth.

@Phil_M SAB doesn’t control what is shown in that menu. It is controlled by Android itself. Can you check the settings for your phone (or check support for your phone model)? Do you have Bluetooth turned off?


That’s helpful Chris. Bluetooth is turned on. I can’t see anything relevant in my (Android 9) settings. I’ll have to have a dig around when I’m somewhere with better internet.

Can you share the APK or project? I have an Android 9 (Nokia 5) phone. I could try it out as well.

@Phil_M the latest version is 6.1.

I have Bluetooth as an option on my apps.

I don’t get the Bluetooth sharing option on my phone either. I think it depends on your phone and the version of Android. Some devices consider it as unsafe to share APK files by Bluetooth and so disable the option.

Interesting. I wonder if the issue is going to be more prevalent on high-end phone brands, as opposed to low-end phone brands?? I just did a few Google searches about this issue and I couldn’t find any good info. I recently bought a cheaper Tecno Spark phone with Android 8.1 and there is no problem with bluetooth sharing, but perhaps the issue begins with Android 9 and above.

Hi Chris - it seems this might be a case of Android security tightening up. If you download our published app from Google Play - search for ‘dewtere laamdo’ - it would be interesting to see if it works on your Nokia 5 phone. My phone is a Motorola G7 power, with Android 9 as I said.

Hi Neil. It could be true. I have a Motorola G7 power. It’s not exactly a high-end phone by Western standards, but it is a step-up from the low-cost Chinese brands. If you install my app from the play store - ‘Dewtere Laamdo’ - onto your Techno Spark it would be reassuring to see if Bluetooth APK sharing works.

@Phil_M: I installed your app from Google Play. On my Nokia 5, I have the option to share with Bluetooth.

On my Android 8.1 phone your app shares via Blue Tooth.

As an alternative to BlueTooth sharing, you can setup your phone to share via WiFi hot spot.

Setup WiFi hot spot

  • Setup your WiFi hotspot name (SSID) that is short and meaningful for the people.
  • Make a QR code for the SSID if any of the people group use that technology. Make a paper copy and have on your phone for others to scan.
  • Set the encryption to “None”
  • If you have the option allow say 5-10 users at a time. Testing will show if you need to reduce the number.
  • Turn off your mobile data
  • Turn on the Hotspot
  • Test that it is setup by connecting from another phone

Setup Server

  • Choose a web server from the Play store.
    • SimpleHTTPServer by Jojoagogo is one that fits the bill
  • Choose your Listening Port: 8000 or 8080 or 1234
  • Choose the folder where your app is located. Mine is: /sdcard/Apps
  • Start your Web Server
  • Press the Browse button and see if what you are serving is correct. (SimpleHTTPServer only)
  • Test from another phone connected to the WiFi hot spot
  • From the log part after you started the server it will tell you the URL:
  • Make a QR code of the URL, print a copy or have it on your phone for others to scan.


  • Find the SSID in their WiFi settings or use a QR code
  • Enter the URL. or scan the second QR code of the URL
  • Choose the .apk file to download and download it.
  • Install the app.
  • If it won’t install then find the app in the downloads folder using a File Manager program and install from there.

Once setup it should only be a few clicks to start serving.

  • Turn on Hot spot
  • Start SimpleHTTPServer
  • Press Start
  • Show people the text or the QR codes for the SSID and URL

@Phil_M, bluetooth sharing for this app works without problem from my Tecno Spark.

Thanks all. It’s good to know that Bluetooth sharing still works on some phones, and that there is a hotspot sharing possibility. However regarding sharing via hotspot: thanks for the details John, but it is a somewhat complicated process that requires internet access and specialist knowledge to set up. The beauty of in-app sharing is that the app can be shared from one to another and then onwards to others in the bush without these things, and I know our app has been shared a lot this way. Is there anyway we could bring in-app sharing via Bluetooth fully into the control of SAB app rather than relying on the Android OS share menu, so that it remains a possibility on all phones into the future?

It does not require internet access to set up a Hot Spot.
It does appear complicated.

I would doubt SAB could manage the Bluetooth sharing.