What is AirDrop and Why Should I Care?

AirDropWith iOS 7, Apple has introduced the AirDrop functionality for all iPhone 5 models, the fourth-generation iPad, the iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch. AirDrop is simply a technology that allows users to quickly and easily share information between compatible iOS devices. A wide variety of information can be shared, such as: photos, contacts, web pages, notes, iTunes radio stations, and more.

 

Setup AirDrop

For AirDrop to work properly, you need to be signed in to an iCloud account, have Bluetooth enabled on your device, and be connected to a Wi-Fi network. Additional configuration options are available in the iOS 7 Control Center. To access Control Center, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. You will see a window similar to the picture below. Bluetooth can be enabled by selecting the icon in the middle of the top row.

Bluetooth Button

 

Tap the AirDrop button to select whether your device will be discoverable to Everyone, Contacts Only, or turn Off AirDrop. This basically allows you some control over who can send information to you. The Contacts Only setting will only accept information from people that are listed in your Contacts.

AirDrop ButtonAirDrop Options

 

Using AirDrop

When you want to send something to another person, tap the Share button. It is shaped like a square with an arrow pointing up. In the following example, I will share a link to the iAnswerGuy website.


Sharing Button

 

A share sheet will open with various options for sharing the information. If any AirDrop recipients are available within the AirDrop range (about 30 feet), their icon will automatically appear in the AirDrop section. If the recipient is listed in your Contacts, their contact photo and nickname will be displayed. It may take a moment to identify if any AirDrop capable devices are in the area. A recipient’s device must be awake (screen not black) for the device to be identified.

AirDrop Section

 

Tap the person’s icon to send the information to them. The recipient will receive notification that you wish to send them something. They have the option to accept or reject the information. If the item is accepted, a copy of the data is sent to their device and you will see a confirmation once the transfer is complete.

 

On the recipient’s device, the information is automatically opened in the appropriate app. In our example, since I was sending a link to a web page from Safari, the web page will automatically open in Safari on the recipient’s device.