apple airdrop

What is AirDrop?

Airdrop is Apple’s new solution to transfer files between iOS & Mac devices. Airdrop is a secure ad-hoc service build by Apple which helps users to transfer documents or files amongst their Mac or iOS devices very quickly and easily. Airdrop actually debuting with Mac OS X Lion in 2011. Airdrop is aimed at making sharing easier, especially for workplaces and households that rely on apple products. Airdrop in OS X uses Wi-Fi to transfer files whereas iOS devices uses Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth together.

Before Airdrop came into being, users wishing to transfer files between iOS and Mac devices resorted to third party services like Dropbox or other iCloud app like Messages. However, with Airdrop, it is just about drag and drop, making sharing easier than it has ever been. Several Apple users have already downloaded Airdrop and the release has been welcomed with open arms globally.

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Devices Requirements to use Airdrop

Users will need to install iOS 7 or later along with OS X Yosemite to use Airdrop features. Moving files with Airdrop is supported by Mac models launched after 2012, specifically those running on OS X Yosemite. To confirm that your machine is compatible with Airdrop, you can check by clicking on the ‘Finder’ icon available on the Dock and thereby clicking on ‘Go’ in the Menu bar. In case, Airdrop isn’t listed as one of the options, your device remains incompatible. To use Airdrop on an iOS device, you would require below devices having iOS 7 version or later.

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad (4th Gen &  later versions)
  • 5th gen iPod Touch
  • iPad Mini.

The devices that are involved in the file transfer need to be within 30 feet on each other. You might also need to uncheck the “Block all Incoming Connection” on the device’s firewall settings.

Airdrop would not require you to sign in to same iCloud account in both devices. You can transfer files between devices which logged into different accounts. But, it requires permission to accept file transfers. Also, both Macs and iOS devices need to be unlocked for the file transfer to take place using Airdrop.

Steps to share content between iOS devices using Airdrop

#1 Turn on the Wi-Fi on your iOS device. Airdrop will work even if the connections are different for each device.

#2 Turn on the Bluetooth of your iPhone/iPad/iPod.

#3 Turn on Airdrop on the iOS device. Swipe up your iPhone and access the Control Center and choose between “Contacts Only” or “Everyone” according to status of the receiver.

ios8 airdrop turn on

#4 Now share content from Apps such as photos, safari or contacts.

ios8 photos

#5 Now just tap the photo and share near by Airdrop user or Apple device. If you are sharing using “Contact only” feature then make sure you both signed into iCloud Account. If still it doesn’t show then just try to set your sharing to “Everyone”.

ios8 share moments

#6 Once you share content using Airdrop platform then the other user will receive alert view along with the preview of content. So, other user can easily accept of decline.

Steps to share content on Mac devices using Airdrop

#1 Turn on Wi-Fi in your Mac device

#2 In Finder, navigate to Airdrop or select it as it appears in the sidebar of the ‘Finder’ window.

#3 Nearby Mac devices will be shown as profiles of the respective users.

yosemite airdrop send

#4 Drag and drop the files you want to share with the user you intend to.

#5 Ensure that the recipient is equipped to receive files over Airdrop.

yosemite airdrop save

#6 Click Send.

Airdrop also works between Mac and iOS and vice versa. The process to send the files are the same as all nearby devices would be shown in the finder (in case of Mac) circles (in case of iOS devices).

Other things to note

All transfers done through Airdrop are completely encrypted, thereby facilitating a highly secured process. When you are using Airdrop on your Mac or iOS device, a 2048-bit RSA identity is created and stored. This is also complimented by a hash that is based on your contact details (addresses, phone numbers, etc). These, in combination are used later to determine your identity.

Security with Airdrop is also obtained in another way. When users choose to share files, their device begins a broadcast over BT LE. Other devices in range of the broadcast and equipped with Airdrop detent the transfer but respond back with a truncated version of the hash tag. Thus, you can never risk picking up a random user in a random location.

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