A Little Info About AirDrop

Discussion in 'iPad Air Forum' started by caq, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. caq
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    caq iPad Fan

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    I had an issue with AirDrop after I updated my devices to iOS 7.1. I did a lot of Googling to find an answer to the issue before I asked here because I like to figure things out myself when I can. In my search, I discovered a lot of people did not know what AirDrop is and one person who was supposed to know, he was writing an article about it, did not have all the facts right. Because of this, I thought I would post this little article here about what I know about AirDrop. I am in no way a professional. I do not know a whole heck of a lot about iOS (my only Apples are the phone and iPad Mini and iPad Air. My computer is and las way has been PC). So, if I get something wrong on my take, please, feel free to correct me or add to what I have written. I just think this is such a useful utility and I happened upon it by exploring my iPad Air.


    AirDrop is a utility used to transfer documents and photos between other Apple devices that have Bluetooth and WiFi. I read which iPhones and iPads cannot use it, but I can't remember which. It is located by pulling the Control Center up. You will see the option for AirDrop and letting it use Contacts Only or Everyone. Contacts Only will cause it to search for only people with active iPhones and iPads that are AirDrop able that are connected to the same WiFi, that also,show up,in your contacts list. If you select everyone, everyone with an Apple AirDrop compatible device connected to the same WiFi and has BlueTooth turned on will be discovered by AirDrop.


    image-3301647948.jpg
    You select Contacts Only or Everyone in the Control Center

    To be compatible and able to be discovered you must have an iPad or iPhone with AirDrop in the Control Center (I don't know if it shows up in the Control Center of non-compatible devices), you must have have BlueTooth and you must have it turned on so it is in discovery mode, The sending device and receiving device must be connected to the same WiFi. The receiving device cannot be "sleeping" if it is to be discovered. If you have your device set up like this, a sender will be able to discover you and send you photos and documents, if you fit his/her criteria of either being on the sender's contacts list or just everyone.


    image-2903600944.jpg
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    What can you send? The article I read said you can only send photos, so if you read that article and use AirDrop and have only been sharing photos, you are missing out. You can send photos, text documents, PDF's, web page links, I suspect spreadsheets. It depends on the app you are using. You cannot send songs from your music app. You cannot AirDrop from the iBookshelf. If you have QuickOffice Pro HD or QuickOffice Pro, it is not AirDrop compatible. I just checked, and there is no option to AirDrop.


    If you use GoodReader or Pages, they both allow AirDropping Documents. You can also AirDrop an attachment from an email to share with someone else connected to your WiFi. There are other Apps and Utilities you can use. Just play around and see which ones give you that option. I am not going into how to use it in each of these apps. If you have trouble figuring it out, as and then I will go into it. It is pretty much the same in each.


    The AirDrop icon looks like a fingerprint. That is the best I can describe it. If you have a photo to share with someone connected to your a WiFi with a compatible device, ask them to wake it up, turn on the Bluetooth if it is off and accept the document you will sending. This eliminates having to do it via email. It is quicker. I use it to share photos I take with my phone to my Air, or photos taken with my Air to the phone. I also share documents between the two. If it is something my husband would want, I turn on the mini or if he is using it tell,him he will want to accept it.


    Another use if you are in a meeting and want to share a document or photo with everyone, those with a compatible Apple device with their Bluetooth on and Wifi connected, you can AirDrop by opening the Control Center and selection Everyone, if you want everyone on the meeting. There are other scenarios that make this utility well worth exploring and playing with that you will discover when you find the beauty in it.


    image-3151884235.jpg
    The icon may be grayed like this, or blue like it will appear in the photos illustrating how to use AirDrop. Usually after you have used it during the day, it will stay blue. Before the update, it was always blue.

    Below are photos showing how to send via AirDrop:

    image-4269133732.jpg
    Select the photo and touch the box with upwards pointing arrow.

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    Touch the Blue AirDrop fingerprint Icon. If it is gray, it will be a while before it turns blue after touching.

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    You now are waiting for the recipient's device to be discovered and messaged that it is being sent an AirDrop

    image-363335156.jpg
    This is the message the recipient will see on his/her screen. The recipient can decline or accept. If the recipient declines, your device will show "Declined". If the recipient accepts, see the next two photos.

    image-1302948838.jpg
    The recipient has accepted and the AorDrop is being sent.

    image-3346886013.jpg
    The recipient has received the AirDrop.
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  2. The OB
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    The OB Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well researched, written and presented article which greatly improved my understanding of AirDrop. Thanks caq!
    Andrew


    Sent from Oz using Tapatalk
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  3. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    caq.......this is just brilliant!

    Thank you for the time you've invested in creating this Tutorial..... Complete with Skitches and all!!

    I'm sure others will find it very informative, I certainly did and have now bookmarked it for future reference!!

    Well done!!
  4. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    This is a great tutorial, caq, thanks.

    And, I like it so much I've made it a sticky here in the iPad Air Forum. Although Air Drop also works on both iPad Mini versions and the iPad 4 - I don't want this thread to "disappear" ...

    Marilyn
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  5. caq
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    caq iPad Fan

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    Thanks. I was not sure which devices it worked with. I knew it worked with my iPadAir, Mini and iPhone 5, I was not sure about the others, so I figured I would do it here and you guys would move it where it belongs if necessary.
  6. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Great idea!

    Why didn't I think of that!! Duh!! ;)

    Thanks Marilyn!
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  7. rakrouki
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    rakrouki iPF Noob

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    Thank you very much fabulous
  8. shadow4845
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    shadow4845 iPF Novice

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    Thanks for the Tutorial. It's answered several of my questions. Great post!!!
  9. faresplus
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    faresplus iPF Noob

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    This is a great tutorial, caq, thanks.
  10. n4uau
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    n4uau iPad Fan

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    "must have have BlueTooth and you must have it turned on so it is in discovery mode"

    I'm not sure you have turn BT on. I have Air Dropped without turning it on; perhaps it turns itself on. Do need to be on wifi though, it appears. It is a nifty way to transfer stuff.
    Thanks write up.
  11. caq
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    caq iPad Fan

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    Ok, I just did a test. I turned the Bluetooth on my AirPad OFF. I went to my camera roll and selected a photo to Air Drop to my iPhone. It did Air Drop the photo to my iPhone. I then went back into the settings of the iPad Air and it had turned the Bluetooth ON because I had turned it off and it was ON when I checked settings.

    I then turned the Bluetooth OFF on the iPhone, the receiving end. It would NOT receive the photo. The Bluetooth was not automatically turned ON.

    So, to clarify, the receiving device MUST have Bluetooth turned ON for the Air Drop to be found.

    The sending device's Bluetooth will be turned ON by the Air Drop utility if you do not have it turned ON. If you do NOT want Bluetooth to be constantly ON, you must turn the Bluetooth to OFF in settings when you are finished with your Air Dropping..

    If you are having trouble receiving an Air Drop, check your settings and see if you have your Bluetooth turned OFF. If you are not in discovery mode, the sending device cannot find your device to receive what is being Air Dropped. This makes sense for security reasons. You may not want the item being Air Dropped.

    The instructions I read just said you needed Bluetooth ON. Which is true since it does turn ON the Bluetooth of the sending device. If the receiving device does not have Bluetooth set for discovery mode, Air Drop will not turn that receiving device's Bluetooth ON.
  12. n4uau
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    n4uau iPad Fan

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    Well you are right, almost anyway, I just did that test with my Air and Mini. When you turn on AirDrop they both turn on BT and this is logical since at that point you don't know who is going to send and who is going to receive. In fact it could go either way or both.

    Very informative discussion and I thank you for exploring the area!
  13. caq
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    caq iPad Fan

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    That is weird, because when I try sending from my Air to my iPhone 5, it will never turn my Bluetooth on on the iPhone. I tried it again, just now. The Bluetooth remains off on the iPhone, I have to turn it on. I have waited for long periods of time when testing this.

    I believe that is the way it is meant to work. Why would they design it so that someone else could turn someone else's Bluetooth on if they do not want it on. I makes no sense that someone with a pad or phone with Air Drop ability could be susceptible to someone else turning their Bluetooth on? Sure, they can decline the AirDrop, but I do not believe it is set up so that someone who hung to do an AirDrop will have the ability to turn everyone's (in the same WiFi area) Bluetooth on.

    In our cases, we are just using our own devices, but if it is as you state, the Bluetooth on everyone's devices with AirDrop capability within that WiFi area would turn on and that is just not right. Other people should not be able to affect your phone or pad settings.

    I do recall that my husband, who uses the iPad Air, was not able to receive an AirDrop, and my Air was not able to discover him when I first discovered this utility. I was doing it from my Air to my Phone. I asked him if he had the Bluetooth on the Air turned on and he said he did not. My Air did not turn his Mini's Bluetooth on when I was experimenting with the AirDrop. I did it over and over and the Air would nay find my phone. He then turned the Bluetooth on, like the article I read said was necessary, and the Mini was then discovered. The settings in the Control Center did have the AirDrop activated.

    I am not sure what your devices were doing, but I find it hard to believe someone else's device can turn your Bluetooth on when connected to the same a WiFi simply because they choose to AirDrop to you. That, to me is a security issue if it is true. I keep my Bluetooth off, except when I want to use it, which had been only for an AirDrop.

    I am not sure why both your devices had the Bluetooth turn on automatically because you chose to AirDrop something with one of your devices. Nobody should be able to affect the settings on someone else's devices, which is what it is doing, if I understand what you stated above. It was a little difficult for me to follow.

    BY THE WAY, don't know if this would make a difference, but all the devices in my house are using the same Apple account, just in case someone is thinking that is a factor.

    Has anyone else tested this? Turn the Bluetooth off on the device you want to be at the RECEIVING end of the AirDrop and select a photo or something to Airdrop from another device. See if it will turn the Bluetooth on on the receiving device. It does not with my phone. I am going to try it from my phone to my Air and see what happens.


    Please excuse any typos. I have a hard time typing on the pads and phones.
  14. caq
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    caq iPad Fan

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    I just tested from my iPhone 5 to my iPad Air. I turned the Bluetooth off on the iPad Air. It did NOT turn the Bluetooth on on my iPad Air. After I turned the Bluetooth on on the iPad Air, the phone discovered the Air and I could have sent the photo. So, my iPhone 5 will NOT turn the Bluetooth on on the iPad Air when doing an AirDrop. My iPad Air will NOT turn the Bluetooth on on my iPhone 5 when I try to AirDrop from my iPad Air.

    Not sure what was going on with your devices.
  15. leelai
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    Interesting conversation here.....I've never used my AirDrop before.....

    I've just tried it on my iPad Air and iPhone 5. It doesn't turn on Bluetooth on other devices and it doesn't connect for me with just having Bluetooth on, I have to turn on AirDrop on the receiving device first before it's discovered on the other device.

    There's also that message you have on the sending device......

    So anyone you are sending to must have AirDrop enabled (which turns on Bluetooth) and depends on which option they have chosen also eg Contacts Only or Everyone.

    Noticed when you turn off AirDrop you also need to turn off Bluetooth also. I never have my Bluetooth on, only when I need it.

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