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In iOS 7, Apple has introduced a feature called Air Drop, which allows you to easily share files like photos, contacts, notes and so on, between supported iOS devices that are in close proximity to each other. This is achieved with a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, letting iOS devices detect other nearby iOS devices and, with the proper permissions, you can send files from one device to the other. Now in order to do this, you have to have an iPhone 5 or later, an iPad Mini, a fourth generation iPad, or a fifth generation iPod touch.
On earlier devices, Air Drop won't show up as an option. If you have an Air Drop capable device, the first thing you should do is, configure it to specify who you'll allow to find you. To do this, Swipe up to open Control Center. Then tap Air Drop. And as you can read here, this is where you chose to make your devices discoverable to everyone, or just people in your contacts, which is the address book on your device. It's set to contacts by default, so you won't show up as available for Air Drop on someone else's device unless they're in your contacts. Now if you set it to everyone, anyone else nearby with a supported iOS device can see your device, and send you files.
Now by nearby, we're talking about within a 30 foot radius, which is about the distance Bluetooth signals can travel. It's sometimes even a little less than that. But if you want to make sure not just anyone can find your phone, leave this set to contacts only. Or even turn Air Drop off from here, until you know you want to use it. Obvisouly contacts only selected. And that's all you need to do to configure Air Drop. So let's see how this works. I'm going to bring up another iPhone. And let's say that I want to send a couple of photos. I'm going to tap Select and select the photos I want to send. And then I'll tap the Share Button here in the lower left hand corner.
You'll find the share button in many different apps. And it always displays all the methods you can use to share whatever it is you've selected. Whether it's a photo, a contact, a webpage, and so on. And after a moment, I see that an Air Dropped device, Garrett's iPhone 5 has appeared here. I'll select it. And here on the phone on the left, we see a message asking if we want to allow these photos to be sent. So even if somebody can see your device, you can always reject whatever they're sending if you want, but I'll tap Accept. Over on the right I can see that the photos have been sent. And now if I open up my photos app. I see the three photos that were sent. And again these are sent wirelessly, and in order for this to work, you have to have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on on both devices.
Note that this doesn't mean you have to be connected to the same wireless network. You don't need to be on a Wi-Fi network at all, as long as both devices have Wi-Fi turned on along with Bluetooth, and they're within 20 to 30 feet of each other, Air Drop should work. Now I think this is a lot more convenient than texting a bunch of photos or attaching them to email. If you're in the same room with someone, Air Drop makes it easy to directly share files with each other.
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