Users with compatible devices can connect directly to each other via Wi-Fi Aware, without the need for a cellular or Internet connection.
“Wi-Fi Aware networking works by forming clusters with neighbouring devices, or by creating a new cluster if the device is the first one in an area,” said Google.
“This clustering behaviour is device-wide – apps have no control over clustering behaviour – and the behaviour is managed by the Wi-Fi Aware system service.”
It said apps use the Wi-Fi Aware APIs to talk to the Wi-Fi Aware system service, which manages the Wi-Fi Aware hardware on the device.
The Wi-Fi Aware APIs are available to apps which target Android O, and let apps perform operations such as discovering other devices and creating a network connection.
“Wi-Fi Aware network connections are more reliable than Wi-Fi P2P connections and support higher throughput rates across longer distances than Bluetooth connections,” said Google.