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Today we will dive into the world of Apple AirDrop.

What exactly is AirDrop? Is it useful? What can you use it for?

All these questions, and more, will be addressed in this post.

Apple AirDrop is a feature within iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS that enables users of Apple devices to wirelessly share and receive photos, documents, websites, videos, notes, map locations, and more with other Apple devices nearby.

It should be noted that Google has something similar: Google Nearby Share.

So, in short, the main benefit of AirDrop is that you can instantly share a variety of media with other Apple-addicted users nearby – thus eliminating the hassle of having to go into your contacts, mail, photos, texts etc..

How AirDrop works

AirDrop utilizes Bluetooth to establish a connection between two devices through Wi-Fi.

It should be noted that AirDrop isn’t just for iPhones only. Nope. You can also have a Mac, iPad, or virtually any Apple product at all and do it.

You may be asking yourself how close the devices have to be next to one another. 30 feet. But, I would assume, to ensure things run smoothly, probably better to shoot for 20 feet.

When a user selects the sharing icon on a file or photo, devices nearby that support AirDrop - and don't have their AirDrop settings set to Receiving Off (which, let’s be honest, some people do) will automatically appear under the file in the sharing screen. You then tap on the receiver, the other user will be notified and they have the option to accept or reject the file.

I think the ability to reject is huge here for privacy. Think about it; you do not have the ability to block a text or phone call if someone has your phone number. So what if you happen to be in the near vicinity of a celebrity? Perhaps their phone may show up on AirDrop. Thanks to the reject button, they won’t be spammed.

How To AirDrop

When you are ready to share anything, simply open the file and tap on the share icon.

Any nearby Apple devices associated with your Apple ID will then appear under the content you are sharing with the AirDrop photo. Simple as that.

Note: You won't get an Accept or Reject notification when you send something to yourself as long as both devices are signed in with the same Apple ID.

AirDropping on Mac

If you are seeking to AirDrop a file using a Mac, it is very similar.

Open the file, then click “share” in the app window. You can also do Control-click on the file and then click share in the shortcut menu.

You can also launch Finder and open AirDrop from the left-hand bar. This is useful because it is then made possible for you to drag and drop the file onto the recipient.


So, to be honest, there is not a ton more detail regarding how to use AirDrop. Is it useful in a variety of ways? I would say yes. Is it sexy? I would say no.

Regardless, I hope the above overview gave you a glimpse of the capabilities of Apple’s technology. I, for one, did not know that you could AirDrop from a Mac! And now I am aware.

I have attached a short YouTube video above. Give it a look to gain even more insight into how to utilize airdrop.

Worldly Happenings

I also want to write a few words about what has recently been going on in China related to AirDrop.

In early November 2022, Apple limited the use of the AirDrop wireless file-sharing function on devices throughout the country.

This comes just weeks after protesters had used the feature to spread messages critical of the Chinese government – largely in relation to COVID lockdowns.

Let me preface this little blurb by stating that I am not seeking to analyze COVID or the government’s handling of it.

But this is an interesting topic that just so happens to play into this AirDrop blog post.

Free speech is an essential right for citizens across the world in their respective countries. It isn’t controversial to have the opinion that China, at times, seemingly tows the line with this.

Which brings me back to this overarching point: using technology as a breakthrough for governments that are restricting free speech.

Think about what you have just read above. In modern-day civilization, protesters coordinate spread, and share information thanks to the accessibility of the technology at their fingertips.

This goes far beyond China. Think of poverty-stricken countries. I know it is easier said than done, but getting a smartphone or computer in someone’s hands can expose and enlighten them about the happenings and ideas across the world. Help them learn. Establish their own opinions.

Here, in America, most of us are largely spoiled with an influx of technology at our fingertips. Some of us, I would argue, are borderline addicted.

But in different realms of the world, technology evens the playing field. It allows citizens to gain information, spread their thoughts and opinions and democratize life in many countries where the government has a stranglehold on their citizens.

So, as is often the theme in these posts, technology has a lot of good and some bad. But the good can be life-changing. And people must hold countries and technology companies (Apple) accountable to not interfere with that.

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