Using AirDrop in iOS 7

One of the features iOS 7 brought to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches is AirDrop, which allows wireless sharing between nearby devices. AirDrop can be used to send photos, contacts, Internet links, videos, and more.

AirDrop is available on iPhones 5 or later, iPads 4 or later, iPad mini, and 5th generation iPod touches or later.

Turning on AirDrop
The settings for AirDrop are located in the new Control Panel for iOS 7. To access the control panel from the home screen, the lock screen, or within apps, just slide upward across the bottom edge of the screen. Once in Control Panel, tap the button that says AirDrop.

There are three settings for AirDrop: OFF, CONTACTS ONLY, and EVERYONE. These last two options refer to who can see you as available to receive. If set to CONTACTS ONLY, only people listed in the Contacts app of your device will see you as available.

AirDrop relies upon Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and both must be on for it to work. If either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth is off when AirDrop is switched to EVERYONE or CONTACTS ONLY, the device will automatically turn them back on.

Sharing with AirDrop
First ensure that both the sending and receiving device have AirDrop active, and that the receiving party is either in the sender’s contacts or has their AirDrop set to EVERYONE. Also, make sure that both devices are awake with their screens on.

The Photos app and Safari are two apps that have AirDrop built in, but there are also many third-party apps with AirDrop functionality. In Safari or Photos, browse to what you wish to share, then tap the share button.

In some apps, the share command is simply text. For example, in Contacts just tap the words SHARE CONTACT. In either case, a sharing panel will open with AirDrop at the top.

Once the receiving device is seen, they will show up as a circle icon in this area.

Tap the receiver’s icon, and the receiving device will display a message prompting them to ACCEPT or DECLINE the transfer.

A blue line will move around the receiver’s icon showing the status of the transfer. When the transfer is complete, the word SENT will appear under the icon.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant