Sharing Made Easy
Apple’s AirDrop lets you share files quickly and easily between two devices. AirDrop works with a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is used to find other devices, broadcast your device’s address and to establish a connection.
AirDrop uses Wi-Fi to create a direct, non-network connection for high-speed data transfers. This combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi usage also means that AirDrop is very efficient – it doesn’t use a lot of your battery and its very fast.
AirDrop was introduced when with the release of iOS 7. So if your device can run iOS 7 or higher, you can use AirDrop. If you own a Mac, you can use AirDrop if you are running the Yosemite OS. Here is a short list of all devices that support AirDrop:
- iPhone 5 and above
- iPad Mini and above
- iPad 4th Gen and Above
- iPod 5th Gen and Above
- Mac running the Yosemite OS (or OS X Lion at the very least, works with a limited number of devices)
Using AirDrop to Share Files between iPhones and iPads
To start sharing, first turn on AirDrop. To do that, just swipe up from the very bottom of your screen (at the edge) to bring up Apple’s Control Center. Here, tap on the AirDrop icon at the bottom (it looks like a broken ring of concentric circles).
A list of options will show up:
- Off: This is to turn off AirDrop, obviously
- Contacts Only: This option lets you share stuff exclusively with people in your contacts list and no one else
- Everyone: This option lets you share with any iOS user present in the location.
When AirDrop is on, both the Bluetooth and the Wi-Fi icon will be highlighted (turned on) in the Control Center.
Now that AirDrop is on, you can start sharing stuff.
First, go to the location that contains the files (like photos or a webpage) you want to share. Here, you will see a “Share” option at the top of your screen or a send icon, depending on the app you have accessed.
Tap the “Share” icon. A list of the discoverable iOS devices in the area will now show up.
Tap the device you want to share the content with. The other device will now receive a notification stating that you want to send them something, along with a preview of the content. If they accept, the content transfer will initiate.
The received content can be accessed in the app it was sent from. For example, if you share an image, the receiver will be able to access the received image in the Photos app. If you share a website, the receiver will be able to access it from Safari.
Using AirDrop to Share Files between Mac and iPhone or iPad
You can also share stuff between your Mac and your iPhone or iPad. The procedure to share from an iPhone or iPad with a Mac is same as outlined above. But if you’re sharing from a Mac, you can use the Finder app to share.
Open the Finder app and go the AirDrop menu (Go > AirDrop).
In the window, portraits of discoverable contacts will appear. Just drag and drop files (one or several) on the portrait of the contact you want to share with.
If you’re having trouble with sharing files through AirDrop, here are some possible solutions:
- If you are sharing with contacts, both you and the receiver need to be signed into an iCloud account.
- Move your devices close together. AirDrop is designed to work within a 30 feet range (9 meters) only. The farther you are, the more trouble you will have sharing with AirDrop.
- Make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on both devices (iPhones, iPads or Macs).
- On Macs, your firewall may be blocking connection attempts. To check if AirDrop is allowed on your Mac, go to System Preferences> Security & Privacy. Here, make sure that you haven’t enabled the “Block all incoming connections” option.
Please note that iOS devices (still) can’t directly share data with non-iOS devices, like Android or Windows smartphones. To do that, you could use an online file sharing service as a medium or send attachments directly through email. We hope that Apple lets us use AirDrop to share with every device in the future, it’d be really convenient; but we all know that’s not going to be happening anytime soon.