iOS 7 simplifies file sharing with AirDrop

By , Jun 10, 2013

AirDrop iPhone 5

In addition to Control Center, a new iOS 7 feature which puts often used Settings toggled just a swipe away anywhere in the system, Apple has also made it easier to send your files and documents to other iOS devices and Macs with AirDrop. As you know, Apple launched AirDrop on Macs with OS X Lion.

AirDrop talks to devices directly over Wi-Fi, without the need for an Internet connection or having to join a Wi-Fi network. In fact, the system is hassle-free in that you don’t need to configure anything – it just works…

Sending a photo or a document to someone via text or email is fine. But if that someone is right next to you, a text or an email suddenly feels like too many steps. Enter AirDrop for iOS. It lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No setup required. And transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.

Apple’s OS X head Craig Federighi showed off the feature briefly during the WWDC keynote, underscoring AirDrop means there is “no need to wander around the room bumping your phones,” in a subtle hint at a similar feature available on some high-end Androids, such as the Galaxy S smartphones.

Here’s a handy shortcut to AirDrop in Control Center.

Control Center iOS 7

Federighi said tapping the AirDrop button will put up icons of nearby devices that can receive or send photos and other documents. If history is anything to go by, AirDrop in iOS should work much like AirDrop on the Mac.

Because AirDrop relies on newer Wi-Fi hardware, it is only available on the iPhone 5, fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini and fifth-generation iPod touch.

That’s right, any iDevice released prior to 2012 won’t be able to support AirDrop.

Are you excited about this feature?

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  • Burge

    iPhone 4 and up..from today on beta

  • Taf Khan

    Nice simple feature… No bashing required.

  • Rowan09

    Can you share videos this way?

  • Melih Gönenli

    No 3GS ??
    Shit!!!!!

    • Jonathan

      it’s quite old and not retina

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Still suites his needs on a phone…

    • http://www.instapolitics.com/ Zachari

      time for an upgrade.

    • felixtaf

      Be happy that you got iOS 6… People on the other side dint even have/get last years OS…. And yeah, time for an upgrade…

  • kenneth

    where can i get this??

  • seyss

    FUCCING FINALLY
    took them 4 years

  • Jonathan

    it’s good, but I think they should have it on non direct wifi too, so I can say share something with my brother downstairs while I’m upstairs. and also then they could support the 4 and 4S

    • No Whammy

      They have that: it’s called iMessage, lol.

  • Dan

    Nice new feature, too bad it doesn’t work with older products. If it works with iPad mini, should work with iPad 2… :(

    • felixtaf

      They want you to buy new devices… Exclusive features (so they call)…

    • Cerax

      Like it said in the article; The reason it won’t work on iPad 2, even though much of the hardware is the same, it relies on a new Wi-Fi architecture.

  • ozonostudio

    on my opinion is awful the new iOS 7

  • Abhinav

    air support not for ipad 3:((

    • Gucciipad

      Ipad 3 is supported

      • felixtaf

        No, Air Drop not for iPad 3.. Its from iPad 4 (Newer WIFI antenna)…

      • RarestName

        I don’t get it. My 4S and iPad 3 have AirBlue Sharing installed and it pretty much works flawlessly.

      • Abhinav

        its just apple’s business tactics

      • felixtaf

        Yeah.. They want to buy new phone and tablet… But better than competitors to give iphone 4 iOS7 even after 2 years…

  • Apppleee

    when could we download ios 7?

    • Rowan09

      Coming out in Fall which I’m assuming means a new iPad and iPhone release.

      • Jonathan Carradine

        most likely. they stay scheming

  • RarestName

    If AirBlue Sharing is still being developed, I think it could greatly enhance this feature.

  • Purple112
  • momerathe

    there’s one thing I don’t get about this… iOS has no central file store. it’s one of the most annoying things about it. Do you have to choose an app when somehting gets sent to you? does it choose automatically? that could suck if, say, I want to open a PDF in Goodreader and iOS goes “nope, iBooks”.

  • Robert Goldberg

    “no need to wander around the room bumping your phones” Hahaha pefect…

  • Wamid

    hellz yeah!!

  • Wamid

    hope it works for games too! for like trading itmes/cards/etc.. or multiplayer!

  • Xavier du Coudray

    I’m really liking this feature. It’s a shame they are not making it for iphone 4 and 4S (which are supposed to be quite quick and responsive). Overall, I’m very excited by this OS. Thought Apple was letting me down, but they really showed off today. :D

    • Imahottguy

      Pretty sure it has to do with the chips in the phone, not whether or not a device can handle it resource-wise. I am sad that I won’t be able to do this on my 4S, but then I will be upgrading to the next iphone later this year anyhow.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Nope, this is just marketing greed to force you to buy new hardware. This was already being offered by AirBlue Sharing on the 3GS…just made more noob friendly.

      • Imahottguy

        Airblue != Airdrop. It has everything to do with chips. I would imagine that air blue insinuates that blue as in Bluetooth. Though they both transfer files, they are different in how they do it.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Lol, sounding like true noob. Take the time to read the tweak’s description and get your facts straight.

        It offers the exact same iphone to iphone file sharing as AirDrop here does, but also offers what has been capable in ancient dumb phones; bluetooth file sharing. So, this is in fact just a greedy marketing tactic at work and so far, noobs like you clearly seem to be falling for it…just like you blindly accepted that the iPhone 4 can’t run Siri.

      • Imahottguy

        Not correct sir. If you had the reading comprehension skills many of us have, you would see that I had said that I do not know much about AirBlue, as in “I would imagine that air blue insinuates…”. I’ve seen it in Cydia, but have never had a need for it, so have not read too much about it. If YOU would have taken the time to read about AirDrop, you would know that it uses Wifi Direct. The ‘Wifi’ in Wifi Direct is actually not the same as bluetooth. You may be new around here, so I’ll try not to be too harsh. No worries though, there is this new place called Wikipedia that may be able to help you discern between the two.

        Also, you mean to tell me that Siri isn’t actually a chip on the motherboard mainframe download on the iPhone? Wow, I truly am disappoint. I had thought that Siri was supposed to eventually make it to all iOS devices. Though it appears that they have “moved on” from that statement.

        Thanks for the laugh. In my experience the noobs are typically the ones calling others “noob”.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Again, take the time to read the tweak’s description and get your facts straight. It clearly states that it does the following:

        “6. Automatically create a WiFi hotspot for transmission when no WiFi available (iOS to iOS, large file)”

        What exactly do you think Wi-Fi direct does? Consider re-reading and getting a comprehension of that Wikipedia page. Just cause AirBlue Sharing uses it mostly for large file sharing between iOS devices doesn’t make it that much of a difference.

        Regarding Siri, that is in fact the case (I’ve had it running on a 3GS and a 4); it’s just another greedy marketing tactic like this AirDrop stuff.

      • Maxim∑

        I know you comment is old. However Siri requires a more recent audio processor to operate properly. This is why devices like Moto X have a dedicated audio processing core. There is a reason for all this… Sure Siri works on iPhone 4 but since there is no optimized audio chip your battery will drop extremely fast and generate a ton of heat and of course your voice cannot be transcribed as fast. These technologies were made for a reason.

  • naem tarabichi

    They could just allow for bluetooth FTP between devices that are no longer supported for the airdrop feature :(

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      A jailbreak tweak is 99.99% guranteed to achieve that; keep an eye on AirBlue Sharing…

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    I can already imagine a jailbreak tweak making this compatible with ANY Bluetooth file sharing device. Fits just right as a new GUI for AirBlue Sharing….

    • RarestName

      Not sure where the developer is right now. His last tweet was two months ago…

  • Ahmed Aboelnaga

    IS there any way jail break community could get this done on iPhone 4 !

  • Zack Fair

    “Apple’s OS X head Craig Federighi showed off the feature briefly during the WWDC keynote, underscoring AirDrop means there is “no need to wander around the room bumping your phones….”

    Are they serious?
    Comparing standard peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection to NFC?

    Android already got those so called ‘AirDrop’ aside from NFC by the way.

    It’s called Wi-Fi Direct.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Direct

    Apple, copy-cat as usual.

    • Edmond Koh

      Well, you’re a copy-cat to the famous Final Fantasy character yourself too. ;)

    • RarestName

      AirDrop was on the Mac since July 20, 2011.

      Wi-Fi Direct was added to Android on 19 October 2011.

      Also, who cares which got it first?

  • Ed

    Okay, this is a practical feature. Too bad you can’t AirDrop to Macs or iPads.

  • sigh

    sucks that it iphone 4 isnt supported…

  • Imahottguy

    I was disappointed to see that the 4S was not supported, but by the time iOS7 drops, it will be the previous-previous gen model. Time for an upgrade (this fall) hopefully :-). The tech sounds cool, but only if all of your friends/family have new iPhones and don’t share pics via email, FB, bump or iMessage. It seems that those complaining about it are only doing so because Apple excluded the 4S on this one feature, plus the live camera filters. I think it is rather awesome that the 4S is not just being supported by 7, but also is receiving just about all, save for a couple, features.

  • Cody

    I think it should be on iPhone 4 and up

  • sp_gm

    Can’t AirDrop to my Mac. Anyone else with the same problem?

    • HeyHey

      I’ve also tried to airdrop from the iPhone to my iMac and vice versa unsuccessfully. If it’s airdrop (same name) why doesn’t it work? Is it just a bug in the beta?

  • Ian

    I just want to make sure. can I Airdrop over Bluetooth?

  • Erik Moust

    can you share from ios to osx?

  • As

    a small feature that plays like an excuse to get the iPhone 5 or later model. As usual.

  • jlav

    NFC is much simpler, open the photo and tap your phone with your friends phone, airdrop means you have to open the photo, drag up (tricky on small screens) select the person you are sending to and then the photo is sent. The bump app is handy because I can install it on my nexus and iPad mini so even though the iPad doesn’t have NFC I can tap b my phone to send the photos still

  • Nicat

    ios 7 airbloe Sharing ?

  • Waleed

    Well you can install airdrop feature from cydia now.. For iPhone 4 stuff..