iOS 7 Feature: AirDrop lets you quickly and easily share Photos, Videos and other files


AirDrop is one of the major new features of iOS 7. If you’re a Mac user, then you’re probably familiar with it. Apple had introduced AirDrop for Mac with the release of OS X Lion in 2011, which allowed users to share files without the need of a Wi-Fi network or any configuration and without the need of storage devices.

Here’s what Apple has to say about AirDrop for iOS:

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.

Here’s how AirDrop for iOS works:

  • It allows you to quickly transfer files between two iOS devices without the need of a Wi-Fi network. AirDrop works by creating an adhoc Wi-Fi network between the iOS devices, and doesn’t need any configuration.
  • The feature allows you to transfer files only between iOS devices currently, so you won’t be able to transfer files between your iOS device and Mac and vice versa.
  • You can share files using AirDrop via the redesigned share panel. So you will be able to share things via AirDrop from any app that has the share panel. Out of the box, you will be able to share photos, videos, contacts etc.
  • To share via AirDrop, iOS will prompt you to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  • If there are any iOS devices with AirDrop enabled, they will automatically show up in the Share panel. As you can see in the screenshot below, you will see your contact pictures. You need to tap on the Contacts to send whatever want to share.


  • When you receive an AirDrop, you will get an alert with a preview of the photo or video, and with options to Accept or Decline it. If for example, you accept a photo via AirDrop, it will automatically launch the Photos app after the transfer is complete. It shows the progress with a circular animation during the transfer process.


  • AirDrop seems to be enabled by default, however you can turn it off by tapping on the AirDrop option in the all-new Control Center. You also have the option to make yourself discoverable to everyone or people in your contacts.


The feature will be even more useful when developers add support for the feature in their apps. It remains to be seen what kind of files developers will be allowed to use the AirDrop feature for in their apps, and if Apple will impose any restrictions.

We’re glad that Apple has included AirDrop in iOS 7, it has been on our wish list ever since the feature was introduced on the Mac. It’s one of the coolest features of iOS 7, but it’s a pity that it doesn’t work with Macs. We hope Apple will add support in the future.

AirDrop also suffers for the same limitation that is inherent with most Apple services and features, which is, lack of cross-platform support, so you will have to still use the conventional ways such as email to share photos and videos with other devices.

AirDrop will be available on the iOS devices mentioned above when iOS 7 is released later this fall. Check out our iOS 7 category page for everything you need to know about Apple’s next generation mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

As always, let us know what you think of the AirDrop for iOS in the comments.

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Categories: AirDrop, iOS 7

  • Ershad

    please reconfirm if ipad 3 has airdrop support????

    • iPhoneHacks

      As far as we’re aware yes.

      Check this link to find out which features are available on older iOS devices:

      • Ershad

        but you have posted in the above link –

        “AirDrop, the way to share file between devices won’t work on iPhone 4S and earlier, nor would it work with iPad 2, and iPad 3.”

        please correct at the appropriate place :)

        • iPhoneHacks

          Oops fixed. Looks like it won’t be available on iPad 3.

    • mike m

      it definitely will not work on an ipad 3. it has the wrong wifi card, but it does have bluetooth 4. needs both to work

  • blu

    why no iPhone 4S or iPad 2 support?
    Oh wait, they want me to buy a new device.

    • Rounak Jain

      Think it’s related to Wi-Fi direct hardware requirement, which isn’t available on older devices

      • Alex

        They could at least try to do that by other channels. For example imessage doesn’t require sms to be sent

        • Anthony Snyder

          Exactly. Why push a feature that’s slow versus iMessage which is faster than if they did it otherwise.

  • Paris Paraskeva

    No ipad 3 support

    I suspect due to airdrop requiring Bluetooth 4

    • Ershad

      ipad 3 had bluetooth 4.0

      • mike m

        its a limitation of the wifi. one not mentioned until now. i have a 3 also…not thrilled, but honestly, who will kill their phone and leave bluetooth on to use this feature never?

  • David Dickinson

    Wouldn’t it be nice to share files with anybody regardless of what phone they’ve got via Bluetooth,you know…………like normal!

    • Paris Paraskeva

      You already can via email! Relying on Bluetooth alone to send e.g 10 photos would take ages. I suspect apple is using Bluetooth to initiate connection between devices and configure wifi ad hoc network to send the actual photos. It’s blazing fast with photos that I tried. Slow with videos thought.

      • David Dickinson

        What if they have a phone that is not email enabled?you can’t just share a ringtone,video or song via Bluetooth as of old.

  • RockTheBeat

    Apple should enable airdrop at least from devices starting from iPhone 4
    Because not all iPhone 4/4s user had changed their’s to iPhone 5

    • mike m

      it doesnt have the necessary bluetooth 4 hardware in it. my ipad 3 wont be getting airdrop either :(

    • Anthony Snyder

      It doesn’t have the correct technology. I’ve dug into Wifi Direct and it would seem the 4s and 4 don’t work.

  • Ha Jo

    Sorry to say this, but “F#%$* you, Apple!”. This feature is exactly what the Bluetooth SIG defined almost 15 years ago as Object Push. And specified it as cross-platform. Apple at the time decided not to support it, AFAIR due to “security concerns”. Gone are the concerns, they finally follow suit, but only half-hearted by introducing a proprietary solution… I find this totally unacceptable. I like my iPhone, but I also start to see that the rise of the Apple is nearing an end.

    • mike m

      apple doesnt do universal, it does it better. if you are too poor for a new device, you dont get new features. its a combo of bluetooth and wifi never before used. bluetooth is slow.

      • Ha Jo

        That’s pretzel logic. Initiate transfer via std Bluetooth, switch to wifi if an iOS device is detected. That way you get great speed with “better” iOS and at least slow speed with other devices. Simple…

        • mike m

          why would apple develop a cross platform technology and try and make it not be buggy with the 80 other manufacturers droids and sacrifice stability? That is the whole purpose of having an iphone! Also, new technology comes out because new technology supports it. Thats like asking why cd’s werent designed to fit in cassette decks…

      • Mark

        I do not agree that Apple is better. I’ve had both and I’m going back to an Android. Several reasons.

        • TheEternalEmperor


  • Po Lee

    +1 apple for new ideas lol….identical to S beam from Samsung
    No more jobs = no more new ideas!

    • TheEternalEmperor

      But you’re an original.

  • Juice

    Can’t we all just get along with a STANDARD that will work with everything?

    • Chance


      • Jeroen Desloovere

        That is to limited… 5MB max per mail on most mail hosts.

  • Marty Mart

    The fact that this is not supported on my iPhone 4S is disastrous. I mean, really, only iPhone 5 gets it? I understand iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, but they should at least support ONE generation backwards.

    This was the MAIN reason that I wanted to upgrade to iOS 7, now I am not so sure as I won’t get the good feature. Also, the color scheme in iOS 7 is made by kindergarteners.

    • mike m

      it needs the bluetooth 4 to work well. my ipad wont get it either. trust me, you will never use it when you can email or facebook or text or imessage or dropbox it

      • Anthony Snyder

        you mean you have other ways…

        I’m sure I’ll use it when I take pics at family get togethers. (All my relatives sport iphones and we take so many pictures)

        • mike m

          if you need bluetooth on, due to battery consumption, I will never use it. Luckily my whole family and friends are on facebook for media sharing. I might try it once since I can before I turn bluetooth back off.

  • jeff j

    I upgraded my iphone 4 from 6.3 to 7.0 and this new air drop feature is working fine.

    • rob


    • Cerus98

      Suuuure. Always one idiot who makes ridiculous claims.

      FYI – the latest IOS release is 6.1.4, no such thing as 6.3.

      Airdrop isn’t available on the 4.

  • technology geek

    does airdrop work with ipad 3

  • Artytart

    AirDrop is open on my ipad (latest model, updated to iOS 7) and on my new iMac. But my iMac doesn’t recognise the ipad and nothing happens when I try the airdrop symbol to send a photo to my iMac. My son MacBook works fine using airdrop with my iMac. It’s just my ipad that is not responding. Any ideas what is wrong?

    • Michael

      AirDrop does not work with OSX, it’s (so far) compatable only between portable devices or OSX devices, not mobile to desktop.

  • bijan

    What the hell is wrong with plain old BLUETOOTH?!?!?!?!?!??!?!!?!?

  • TaosBritDan

    I want airdrop to act as a periscope. My wife is short and if we could link our phones so my camera feeds her screen then I could hold my phone up at concerts and she could see the band that she is listening to. Someone make it happen please.

  • Myers_Power

    Not that long time ago I’ve been searchin’ for media transfer using Windows. And I always wondered “why wouldn’t Apple think of Windows users?”. Well, anyways, I’ve found this one app called iStick by Softorino and it’s freakin’ awesome, I mean really! No iTunes Sync, it’s super easy, nice design and they even got a trial version.

    Look them up!!

    • Kyle Chadwell

      Awesome, thanks for this!