Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to Share Files Faster Using AirDrop

Sharing files between smartphones and other devices can feel tedious. This is especially true with larger files like videos, which famously hijack your device until the file has uploaded. Photos and videos are commonly shared files as we use our smartphones more and more like the small computers they are. Unfortunately, transferring files of any type uses our data plans unless they are connected to a wireless network. 

There is a better way to share files that is not only faster, but also uses a different transfer protocol so it does not use any of your data plan. If you have two devices running iOS or OSX Yosemite or later, and they are in close proximity, you can share files using the AirDrop feature. AirDrop communicates using Bluetooth which is why the devices need to be close to one another, and is also how it is able to work without using a data plan.

How to Share Files Faster Using Airdrop 

Luckily, AirDrop is a built-in feature on Apple devices running iOS 7 or later, as well as OSX Yosemite or later. Since AirDrop was introduced in 2011, most devices already have this feature.  

Use the following steps to utilize the AirDrop feature:
  • Open the Photos app.
  • Select the photos or videos to share.
  • Once selected, click on the menu icon in the bottom left corner.
  • In the middle of the screen there is a section called "AirDrop".

  • Make sure the person you want to send the files to has unlocked their phone. NOTE: Recipients will not appear in the AirDrop section until they have unlocked their phone. 
  • If the person you are trying to share with does not appear in AirDrop, verify the security settings for AirDrop.
    • In iOS 11, open Settings, select General and then Airdrop.

    • In iOS 10, swipe up from any home screen and click on the AirDrop category.

    • Both iOS 10 and 11 let you choose who to allow AirDrop file transfers from and include the following options:
      • Receiving Off
      • Contacts Only
      • Everyone

  • Once the recipient shows up in the AirDrop section, touch their name to start the transfer process.

  • With the recipient selected, a status of "waiting" will appear below their name.

  • The recipient will receive a notification that you are attempting to share files with them.

  • Recipients can choose to accept or decline the files.
  • Once the recipient accepts the file transfer, the files will immediately download onto their device. 
AirDrop is much faster than the traditional methods of sharing files, both emailing or adding files into messages. This process is more efficient in part because of how few steps are required to finish the process. Also, it is important to note that AirDrop requests your permission when someone tries to share files with you. Lastly, the sender must be close by so it is easier to verify you know the sender. This makes this method of transfer more secure than other common ways of accepting data.

As always, it is important not only to be aware of the built-in features, but knowing how to use them can save time and make our lives easier!

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