iOS 7 features a new way for iOS devices to share files wirelessly: AirDrop. While AirDrop already exists for Mac, Apple has long refused to include a file sharing service for its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
In the meantime, Android users were enjoying Bluetooth in a plethora of ways to share contacts, photos and other information between their smartphones. AirDrop is no Bluetooth and Bluetooth on iOS, remains limited to connecting enhancements and accessories. So what does AirDrop bring to the table and how does it work? Source: http://www.tapscape.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/iOS-7-Adds-AirDrop-File-Sharing.png
NOTE: Unfortunately, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users will not have AirDrop enabled on their devices even if running iOS 7.
What is AirDrop and why the fuss?
Until now you were able to send a photo or a document to a friend via email or as a message. If your friend happens to be in the same room, you can now send the files directly via AirDrop in what Apple says a “highly secure” way. AirDrop uses the iPhone’s WiFi radio to transmit and receive data, but you are not required to connect to a WiFi network in order for AirDrop to work. Of course, both you and your friend must be running iOS 7 on your mobile devices.
Here’s a trivia fact for you, Windows users: AirDrop was introduced back in July 2011 but until now it was only available as a file-transfer service for Mac computers running iOS X 10.7 and later. iOS 7 introduces AirDrop to the world of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
How does AirDrop for iOS 7 function?
AirDrop allows you to share data such as photos, videos, contacts and documents from any app featuring a “Share” button. For example, to share a photo, navigate to the Photos app, select one or more photos and tap the “Share” button (this, by the way, is the view we enjoy when we eat out of the office for lunch =) ).
We tried transferring some photos and contacts between iPhone 5 and an iPad Mini. The transfer worked as expected. On the receiving side, a prompt appears. Simply accept to receive the photo, contact or file.
There’s always space for improvement
AirDrop does not seem to work with all apps we expected. The elephant in the room in this case is YouTube. We tried sharing a video link via the YouTube app but we couldn’t do so via AirDrop. This is possibly something which will be fixed with the next version of the app.
AirDrop is coming soon to an iDevice near you. Although a late arrival for iOS devices, AirDrop is a new sharing function which we are looking forward to. However, you won’t be able to AirDrop your data anywhere as the service only works for the following devices running iOS 7: iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c, iPad 3 and later as well as iPad Mini. AirDrop is not compatible with earlier iPads, neither with iPhone 4 and 4S.