AirDrop is Apple’s answer to file and data sharing. Before the debut of iOS 7, you’ll need to rely on 3rd-party apps such as Bump if you want to share files between iOS devices. In iOS 7, Apple has brought a version of AirDrop to all iPhone 5 models, the fourth-generation iPad, the iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch models. With AirDrop, you can easily share data with other nearby iOS devices.
As one of the highlights of iOS 7, AirDrop allows you to share photos, videos, contacts, URLs, Passbook passes, app listings on the App Store, media listings on iTunes Store, location in Maps, etc.
It’s very simple to enable AirDrop. Bring up Control Center and tap AirDrop. To enable AirDrop, you can either select “Contact Only” or “Everyone” depending on whom you want to share the data with. For Contact Only, your device will only discovered by people listed in your contacts. However, it requires you to log in with your iCloud account. On top of that, your device must include the other device’s primary Apple ID.
AirDrop uses Bluetooth to scan for nearby devices. When a connection is established via Bluetooth, it’ll create an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network to link the two devices together, allowing for faster data transmission. Therefore, once AirDrop is activated, you’ll find both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are automatically enabled on your device.
Note: Your devices are not required to connect to a Wi-Fi network in order to use AirDrop. Your WiFi simply needs to be on for the data transfer.
Transferring File using AirDrop
As a demo of how AirDrop works, let’s transfer a photo in the Photos app from one iPhone to another. Assuming you’ve enabled AirDrop on both devices, launch Photos app and pick any of your photos. To share the photos with another device, tap the Share button (the one with an arrow pointing up) at the lower-left of the screen.
In the AirDrop area, you should see the name of the devices that are eligible for sharing. If it didn’t work for you, make sure both devices are unlocked and within range so that they can be discovered via bluetooth, and try again.
From here, simply the device to share the photo. You’ll see a preview of the photo and a confirmation request on the other device. Tap Accept to start the transfer. Once the transfer completes, the photo is automatically saved in the camera roll.
AirDrop doesn’t just work with the Photos app. Say, you can easily share a map location with friends.
You can also find the share option in most of the built-in apps such as Contacts, iTunes, App Store, Safari, to name a few. AirDrop is not limited to the stock apps. Once third-party apps integrates the feature, you should find this feature in more apps.
So far other than the UI redesign, AirDrop is one of my favorite new features. What do you think?
Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com