What is AirDrop? How does it work? Is it appropriate for anyone? How can I use it? These are the first questions that will be quickly asked once you hear the word AirDrop. AirDrop is one of the best methods that are presented to us by Apple Inc. to allow users to wirelessly transfer the files that they want from one device to another without the need to use emails or even mass storage devices that are usually used for transferring files between different devices. But what are the requirements that allow us to use AirDrop? AirDrop is appropriate for all the devices that are compatible with Mac OS X and iOS 7 operating systems. Using AirDrop and transferring files from one device to another requires activating Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and this is for iOS, while using it in Mac OS X requires the Wi-Fi only without the need to activate Bluetooth.
♦ When was AirDrop released & why?
AirDrop was first released on July 20, 2011 to help us transfer all the files that we need including videos, photos, apps, locations, websites and more files between devices instead of resorting to using emails and mass storage devices that are usually used especially when we want to transfer files between computers.
♦ Are there any restrictions on the file sizes that are transferred?
Emails and some of the mass storage devices force you to transfer a specific number of files because of their sizes, but this does not happen when you use AirDrop as there are not any restrictions on the sizes of the files that are transferred to the extent that you can send large files which are more than 10 GB such as movie files easily and quickly without facing any problem.
♦ What about the distance between devices?
The distance between your device and the other device to which you want to transfer your files plays an important role that is responsible for the success of the process. For transferring files from one computer to another, the two computers should be near each other and the distance between both of them should not be more than 10 meters.
♦ Can I accept the transferred files automatically?
No, you cannot do this. The files that are transferred to you are not accepted automatically and this is why you have to do it on your own since there are two options from which you can choose what you want; one is to “Accept” and the other one is to “Decline” the received files. This feature increases security and allows you to only accept the files that you want instead of being tracked by others near you and receiving undesired files.
♦ Can I control the visibility of my device?
Yes, you can easily do this since there are three options from which you can choose what you like and suits your needs for more security. You can choose “Off” to prevent others from discovering your device, “Contacts Only” to allow contacts only to discover your device and the last option which is “Everyone” to allow anyone to see your device.
♦ Do I need a specific device to use AirDrop?
In fact, this is true as there are devices “Apple devices” that do not support AirDrop and therefore cannot be used for transferring files via AirDrop. There are specific devices or models that you and the other one who will receive the files should use. What are these devices or models? AirDrop cannot be used on old Apple devices such as iPhone 4S and earlier.
The new models or devices that can support AirDrop include iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini (1st generation), iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPod touch (5th generation) and there is also iPad (3rd generation) but by jailbreaking the device and you have to know that this is not officially supported by Apple.
For computers, you have to use two Mac computers “one for you and the other one for the receiver”. You can use all the devices that support Mac OS X Lion (10.7) or later including MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro.