One of the many new features available in iOS is AirDrop, a remarkably easy and fast way to share content with friends, family and co-workers. For many households or in the workplace, transferring photos, videos or other content can be a lesson in frustration. Email, iMessage and Dropbox are all viable ways to move content between iPhones. These methods can be incredibly inefficient, take too much time and might present challenges for those in our house who are less tech savvy. Apple has made transferring files easy through the magic of Bluetooth and WiFi. Here’s how to use AirDrop on iOS.

How to use AirDrop on iOS 7

What You’ll Need

In order to use AirDrop, you’ll need two iOS devices running iOS 7 or later, both of which need to be compatible with AirDrop. They include iPad 4, iPad mini, iPhone 5/5c/5s, or iPod touch 5th generation. Both users must have iCloud accounts and be connected to the same WiFi network.

Turn On AirDrop

Both devices need to enable AirDrop on their respective iOS devices. To turn on AirDrop, swipe up from any screen to reveal Control Center. Just above the ‘app tray’ are your settings for AirDrop and AirPlay.

Turn on AirDrop

Tap on AirDrop and select one of these options to set who can discover you:

  • Off: Turns off AirDrop completely.
  • Contacts Only: Only iOS users on your network that are within your contacts will be able to start a file transfer using AirDrop.
  • Everyone: Anyone on the same WiFi network can send you files. Tip: If use company WiFi and work for a large company, this is likely not a good option for you.

Transferring Files & How To Use AirDrop On iOS 7

Once you’re properly configured, here’s how to transfer files using AirDrop. In this example, we’ll share a photo.

  1. Open Photos and navigate to the photo you would like to share
  2. At the bottom right, tap on the share button (paper with arrow up).
  3. Your image should now show as selected.
  4. Just below is AirDrop. Make sure the other iOS device is on, AirDrop is enabled and if contacts only is selected, your iCloud address on a contact card on the device.
  5. A photo or grey image should populate the AirDrop section.
  6. Tap on the image to send the file.
  7. A ‘Sent’ message will appear below the contact to confirm the share.

AirDrop workflow

Tip: If the person does not appear, try switch from Contacts Only to Everyone.

Receiving Files From AirDrop

A message will pop-up notifying you of a new share using AirDrop. It will include information including the contact initiating the AirDrop and the type of file being sent. In the case of a photo, a preview of the image is also present. Tap Accept and the image will now be saved to your Camera Roll.

What Types Of Files Can I AirDrop?

In iOS 7, you can use AirDrop to share the following file types:

  • Photos
  • Contacts
  • Websites
  • Map Locations

AirDrop now exists wherever there is a ‘share sheet’. If you’ve shared something before, it can be shared now, but it’s much easier.

AirDrop FAQ

Can I send files to computers?
Not at this time. AirDrop does not support Mac OS X.
Can I use AirDrop to transfer files to an Android phone?
No. AirDrop is proprietary technology and only available on iOS devices.
Will third party apps offer AirDrop support?
Yes, third party software developers can build in support for AirDrop.
Are there any costs associated with transfers?
No. Since it’s done using WiFi, it won’t affect your data bill at all.
Can I share apps using AirDrop?
No, apps can not be shared.

AirDrop is an easy, fast and efficient way to share content with friends, family and co-workers. If in the past you’ve used iMessage, email or services like Dropbox, you owe it to yourself to try this great new feature in iOS 7.