Open Access Articles- Top Results for AirDrop


See also: Airdrop
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Initial release July 20, 2011; 9 years ago (2011-07-20)
Operating system iOS 7 onwards, Mac OS X Lion (10.7.x) onwards
Platform iPhone 5 onwards, iPad (4th generation) onwards, iPad Mini (1st generation) onwards, iPod Touch (5th generation), MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro
License Commercial proprietary software
Website iOS and Mac OS X support articles

AirDrop is an ad-hoc service in Apple Inc.'s OS X and iOS operating systems, introduced in Mac OS X Lion (OS X 10.7) and iOS 7,[1] that enables the transfer of documents among supported Macintosh computers and iOS devices without using mail or a mass storage device.[1] OS X (prior to Yosemite) and iOS (prior to iOS 8) use different AirDrop protocols and are not interoperable with pre-release versions of Yosemite.[2] The Yosemite released version (version 10.10) of OS X is compatible with previous versions of AirDrop. [3] AirDrop in OS X operates over Wi-Fi, whereas the iOS implementation turns both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on together.

There is no restriction on the size of the document that AirDrop will accommodate. Apple users report AirDrop transmissions of video documents larger than 10 GB. AirDrop devices require ten-meter proximity to detect one another. Few applications implement the AirDrop facility.


File:Airdrop menu iOS.jpg
AirDrop on an iPhone

On devices using OS X 10.7, AirDrop is available through a special folder in Finder, and as of OS X 10.8.1 can be accessed through the menu option Go > AirDrop or by pressing Shift+ Cmd+R. Wi-Fi must be turned on in order for AirDrop to recognize the other device. The other device must also use the same AirDrop folder in Finder to be able to transfer files. Furthermore, files are not automatically accepted; the receiving user must act to accept the transfer.[4] This is done to increase security and prevent others from tracking who is nearby.

On iOS 7 and later, AirDrop can be set only through the Control Center introduced in iOS 7. It is located just below the quick toggles. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be activated for AirDrop to work. Options for controlling security through AirDrop include:

  • Turn off device Discovery,
  • Allow Contacts only to be able to discover the device,
  • Allow everyone to be able to see the device.

Sharing to and from iOS is different among versions 10.7 through 10.9. Starting with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the old version of AirDrop for Mac is replaced with the one for iOS. However, a legacy mode exists in Yosemite for compatibility with Mavericks and prior versions.[vague] In supporting versions of iOS, if an application implements AirDrop, it is available through the share button. AirDrop is subject to a number of other restrictions, such as inability to share music from an iPod app. On supporting versions of OS X, any file or folder can be dragged to send.

In both instances, other devices appear as floating bubbles in Finder, which will usually display the other device's computer name and image. The design of AirDrop is similar to a radar display; however, devices appear randomly on the AirDrop page and there is no correlation to their physical location.

System limitations

iOS requirements

AirDrop is not officially supported on older devices (iPhone 4S and earlier) because of hardware limitations,[5] and can be used only on the following models, or newer ones:

Running iOS 7 or later:[4]

AirDrop can be enabled unofficially on iPad (3rd generation). Although not supported by default, AirDrop can be enabled by jailbreaking the device and installing "AirDrop Enabler 7.0+" from cydia. This procedure is not supported by Apple.[6]

OS X requirements (transfer between two Mac computers)

Running Mac OS X Lion (10.7) or later:

AirDrop is also available on Hackintoshes (generic PCs running OS X) that have AirDrop-supported Wi-Fi cards, such as Broadcom's 4322/94322. Despite Apple's legal restrictions, developers have found that AirDrop can be enabled on any Macintosh running OS X Lion with a shell command,[7] and will work over Ethernet as well. In order to get AirDrop to work, both Macs have to use the same network interface.

OS X requirements (transfer between a Mac and an iOS device)

To transfer files between a Mac and an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, the following minimum requirements have to be met:

See also

  • Android Beam, a similar technology for Android smart phones (NFC based)
  • Wi-Fi Direct, a similar technology
  • Bonjour, the service discovery protocol employed
  • Shoutr, a free P2P multi-user solution for sharing files among multiple people (Wi-Fi)


  1. ^ a b Nations, Daniel. "What Is AirDrop? How Does It Work?". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Etherington, Darrell (September 17, 2013). "Apple iOS 7 Review: A Major Makeover That Delivers, But Takes Some Getting Used To". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Using AirDrop with OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, or Mavericks". Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "iOS: Using AirDrop". Apple Inc. September 18, 2013. Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ "wifi adhoc". Apple Support Communities. 
  6. ^ "AirDrop Port Explaination [sic]". Thuchapol. December 27, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Enable AirDrop Over Ethernet & AirDrop On Unsupported Macs Running OS X". OS X Daily. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2013.