Quick Tips – How To Use Airdrop To Transfer Files On iOS Devices

Share Files Between iOS Devices
Share Files Between iOS Devices

The quickest way to transfer large (and small) files between local Apple iOS devices is to use the Airdrop function. This works on all combinations of iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacBook devices. Just make sure you are running iOS 8 (or later) on the iPhone, iPad and Yosemite (or later) on the Mac. The other caveat is that devices will need to be within about 30 feet of each other to successfully “find” each other and transfer files. The distance limitation comes from the Bluetooth identification process. Note that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are automatically switched on when AirDrop is enabled as they are both utilized.

If all devices are on a common Wi-Fi network, it is very easy to transfer files from one device to multiple others (we’ve recently had up to 10 when sharing photos and music). Speeds are limited mainly by the Wi-Fi service. In most cases, we’ve relied on the Bluetooth connections which are still a respectable 20 Mbps to 25 Mbps.

We’ve used Airdrop for files up to 5 GB without issues, and think it’s unlikely that portable devices (some with less than 16 GB of available memory) would need to handle files larger than this.

With Airdrop, you can also share: Contacts, Photos, Safari Links, Podcasts, Music (Albums and Individual Songs) and Apps.

Based on the minimum iOS level requirements, you can expect Airdrop to work on the following devices (generally those released after 2013):

MacBook 8 or later
iPhone 5 or later
iPad 4th generation or later
iPad mini 1st generation or later
iPod touch 5th-generation or later

Here’s how to set-up and transfer files:

Set the Mac

Go to the Finder.
Click on the AirDrop icon.
Or you can select AirDrop from the Finders Go menu.
Inside the Finder, open the AirDrop window.
It needs not has to be in front, but the window should remain open in the Finder.

Set the iPhone or iPad

Unlock your iPad or iPhone.
Swipe up from the Home screen.
Tab on the Control Center.
Tap on AirDrop.
Here you will have two options Contacts Only and Everyone.
Choose Everyone.

Using Airdrop from iPhone to Mac

Once you have set the two devices, you can start the process of files transferring. To send files from iPhone to Mac via AirDrop, perform the following steps:

In your iOS device, select the file you want to share with the Mac system.
Next, tap on the Share.
From the drop down menu, select AirDrop.’
Now, select the Mac user with whom you want to share the files.
A small progress line will wrap the Mac user icon, and it indicates the progress in the sending process.

Using Airdrop Between Mac and iPad/iPhone

Under the Finder, open the AirDrop window.
Select the files you want to transfer to the iOS 8 device.
Drag and drop the files over the icon of the iOS user icon with whom you want to share the files.
Make sure that the recipient iPhone or iPad has AirDrop enabled.
A small progress line will wrap the Mac user icon, and it indicates the progress in the sending process.

Recommended Reading

If you want the best way to learn about all the great features of your iPhone, we suggest David Pogue’s ? iPhone: The Missing Manual ($16.13) – a funny, gorgeously illustrated guide to the tips, shortcuts, and workarounds that will turn you, too, into an iPhone master. This easy-to-use book will help you accomplish everything from web browsing to watching videos so you can get the most out of your iPhone.

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