MacMost Now 923: Using AirDrop For iOS

AirDrop for iOS is a new feature of iOS 7 that allows you to send a photo or other document from one iOS device to another one nearby, without using a network. You can easily send photos to friends or share notes, contacts and other app documents.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 923: Using AirDrop For iOS.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at AirDrop for iOS 7.

AirDrop is one of those powerful new features of iOS 7. What it allows you do is to transfer data, say a photo, from one iOS device to another iOS device directly. That means you don't need to be on the same WiFi network. There doesn't even need to be a WiFi network available. You don't even need to be doing it over mobile.

You are actually transferring directly from one device to the other. It makes sharing photos with a friend very easy.

So here I have my iPhone and my iPad. They are in the same room together so AirDrop should work.

The first thing I want to do is make sure I have AirDrop turned on properly for both devices. You can do that by bringing up Control Center, swiping up from the bottom, and you can see there is AirDrop. I can set it to off, contacts only, or everyone. I'm just going to keep it for everyone there. I'm going to do the same thing here for the iPad and there it is set for everyone.

So now I'm going to go into the photos app on my iPhone. I can go into a picture and then use the share button or I can hit the select button there. I can select one or more photos like that one and use the share button. Either way. Bring up the share button and then you can see AirDrop at the top and it is going to look for and find nearby devices that have AirDrop enabled.

So there we go. There is my iPad. Now when I tap it it will attempt to send it to the iPad there. You can see on the iPad I get a preview there of the photo and I can hit accept or decline.

So you end up with a photo in your camera roll just like if you took the picture yourself. So this is a great way to share photos. You are in the same room with other people, somebody takes a picture, and you say send that to me. They can send it to you right there then you don't have to be on the same WiFi network, you don't have to know each other's email address, phone numbers, or anything. AirDrop simply finds the device nearby and allows that person to send that photo.

Theoretically you can share just about anything. Now the app has to be updated for iOS 7 so that it can use the new share functionality. You can share notes, you can share contacts, in Safari you can share links to the web page you are visiting. You can also use third party apps. Like I noticed in EverNote I can share a note from there to somebody else as well.

AirDrop requires the latest WiFi chips inside of your iOS device to work because it has to do this communication between devices which means it needs the latest hardware. So basically it is iPhone 5 or newer, the iPad fourth generation, that is the one that came out in the later part of 2012 or newer and the iPod Touch fifth generation.

Basically if you have the lightening connector at the bottom of your device then you should have AirDrop. If you have the older dot connector at the bottom of the device then you have the older WiFi chip set and you won't be able to use AirDrop on that device.

Now you can't use AirDrop to share something from iOS to Mac or vice versa. Both Mac and iOS have something called AirDrop and they work in similar ways but you can't share across. One of the problems there is that Macs have an open filing system. You can create files of any type and put them anywhere you want and you can just view folders filled with different files. In iOS there is documents, not really files. These documents are stored specific to the apps; photos in the photos app, pages documents in the pages app, etc. You don't have this open file system where you can just look at a bunch of different types of files. So going back and forth from one to the other would need to solve that problem before it could be enable. In the meantime there are other ways to share things of course. All the same old ways that a have worked before sharing between iOS and Mac including using iCloud say to share photos via Photostream, things like that.

So I hoped you liked this look of AirDrop for iOS.

Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 9 Responses to “MacMost Now 923: Using AirDrop For iOS”

    Christopher Malaney
    6 years ago

    Do you think with Maverick that you will be able to use air drop with ios systems?

      6 years ago

      Probably not. As I say in the video, the two OSes handle “files” very differently.

    6 years ago

    Gary, Air Drop does not show up on the control panel when I slide up on my iPhone or iPad It only shows AirPlay.

      6 years ago

      Perhaps your device does not support it. Which models do you have?

    Marla Miriam
    6 years ago

    This was helpful to me, a neophyte. Exclamation point above my head inside a lightbulb, “ohhhhh.”

    Piet van 't Zelfde (Pete)
    6 years ago

    Hi Gary, I just seen your video about airdrop. When I pull up my controlcentre I can only see the Airplay logo but I don’t see the Airdrop logo. I own an iPhone 4S with the latest OSX

      6 years ago

      I mention in the video: you need the iPhone 5 or newer.

    Walt Pesch
    6 years ago

    Find it hard to see why technically only the latest phones work. Yes, the transfer may not be quite as fast but that is not a valid reason to disable this feature. Can you unearth the technical reason?

      6 years ago

      It isn’t about speed. The wifi chips inside the device must be able to support a direct connection between two devices. The older chips do not have this ability. Apple actually started putting the newer chips into iOS devices about a year before AirDrop became available, but they could not go back in time and put them in devices that already existed.

Comments Closed.