Apple AirDrop Feature: How Does It Work?

Apple AirDrop Feature: How Does It Work?

Apple introduced AirDrop with the iOS 7 and Mac OS X Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) updates in 2013. This wireless sharing technology can be used to send and receive files such as locations, photos, videos, websites and more from other Apple devices nearby. The feature is available on iPhones and iPod Touch (iOS), iPad (iPadOS) and Mac (macOS), and there is no limit to the size of the file that can be transferred.

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How Does AirDrop Work?

AirDrop can be likened to the recent Nearby Share feature on Google’s Android and Chrome OS. It uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for transferring files between two connected Apple devices within a Bluetooth range i.e., approximately 30 feet or 9 metres. The Bluetooth connection creates a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi network between the devices and a firewall is created around the network on both ends to ensure that the files transferred are secure and encrypted.

Apple AirDrop Feature: How Does It Work?

Apple’s AirDrop feature automatically detects nearby devices and since it uses Wi-Fi to make connection, files sent are much faster than those sent via Bluetooth and Near Field Communications (NFC). From AirDrop settings, both users can decide to send files to ‘Contacts Only’, ‘Everyone’ or ‘Receiving Off’. The Contacts Only option requires the receiver’s Apple ID or phone number in sender’s contact card. On Mac, both devices need to be signed into iCloud too.

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How to Enable AirDrop on iOS and iPadOS

Navigate to the Control Centre, by swiping down the upper-right corner of the screen (iPhone X and later, iPadOS) or swiping up from the bottom of the screen (iPhone 8 or earlier or iPod touch). Hold on to the section with network and connectivity section to expand and explore other options. Click on AirDrop and select either of these options for discovery: Receiving Off, Contacts Only, or Everyone. This can also be done by navigating to Settings > General > AirDrop.

How to Enable AirDrop on Mac

Navigate to ‘Finder’ on the top-left sidebar and Select ‘AirDrop’ (macOS X 10.7 and older) or select Go > ‘AirDrop’ from the menu (macOS X 10.8.1 or later). Another option is to click on ‘Shift + CMD + R’ on the keyboard. After any of these options, select ‘Allow me to be discovered by’ in the window. Here you can choose to receive files from ‘No One‘, ‘Contacts Only‘ or ‘Everyone‘.

How to Share Files Over AirDrop

iOS and iPadOS: Most apps are equipped with ‘Share’ or the ‘Share Icon’. Select the file (or multiple files as the case is in Photos app) to be shared and select ‘Share’. Navigate to ‘AirDrop’ among the sharing options and select the device to be shared to. If the receiver is saved in the contact list, the profile will show the image with their name, and if not, it will only show the name.

How to Share Files Over AirDrop (iOS and iPadOS) - MyAppleChat

MacOS: Open the file to be shared and click on ‘Share’ or the ‘Share Icon’ in the app window. Select ‘AirDrop’ from the app window and choose a recipient. Another option is to Navigate to the AirDrop setting in Mac and drag the file(s) to the recipient listed.

How to Receive Files Over AirDrop

iOS and iPadOS: Incoming file(s) shared over AirDrop come in with the preview option to ‘Accept’ or ‘Decline’. Files shared with devices signed in with the same Apple ID does not get this notification as the file is moved directly to the intended app to receive. Also, files sent with one app goes directly to the same app. For example, website links from Safari was shared, the links goes directly to the Safari app. The same applies to files shared from other apps.

macOS: On Mac, incoming files over AirDrop gives a notification prompt or a message in the AirDrop window. Click on ‘Accept‘ to save the files to the Downloads folder.

More How-Tos can be assessed here and share experience or issues using the Apple AirDrop feature using the comment section below.

Sourcs: Apple Support (1), (2), (3)

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