How To: Use AirDrop to Share Photos, Contacts, & Other Files in iOS 7

Use AirDrop to Share Photos, Contacts, & Other Files in iOS 7

Sharing just got a whole lot easier in the new iOS 7. Apple has decided to integrate AirDrop, the local vicinity file-sharing service found in Mac OS X, into the latest version of iOS.

With AirDrop, you can share pictures, contacts, notes, and more between two iPhones without the need for a wireless network. Instead, it uses an ad-hoc Wi-Fi connection or Bluetooth to share with anyone near your device.

To use AirDrop, just slide the new Control Center up from anywhere on your device and tap on the AirDrop option.

Once you select it, you'll be prompted with the option to make yourself discoverable to no one, to your contacts only, or to everyone.

Once you make yourself discoverable, others can easily send and share files with you. If you want to send something like a picture, just tap on the new Share button located on the bottom left.

This will take you to the share page where all the users that are connected to AirDrop will show up. BAMF is the person I want to send a photo to.

You can also send directions straight from the Maps app. Tapping the share sign at the bottom will prompt you to either send your current location or directions, and from there you can choose who to share it to from AirDrop.

If the other user (in this case BAMF) sends me a file, I'll be prompted with the following.

From there, all I have to do is tap Accept and the file will be saved to my device. It's really as simple as that.

More iOS 7 Tips!

There's a lot to learn about the new iOS 7 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, so make sure to visit our iOS 7 tips section to explore all of the new features and hidden tricks. Also make sure to check out the 15 most annoying things, 18 coolest new features, and 18 sneaky privacy-betraying settings in iOS 7 that every iPhone user should know about.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.


How do you change your AirDrop picture/name? At this point the only thing that shows is the default gray thing...

There's three ways AirDrop pics work in iOS 7.

  • If you try to send someone something via AirDrop and THEY ARE NOT in the contacts list on YOUR device, then their AirDrop profile pic will be the default gray head on your device.
  • If you try to send someone something via AirDrop and THEY ARE in the contacts list on YOUR device, but DO NOT have an image associated with their contact info, then their AirDrop profile pic will be the default initials of their name.
  • If you try to send someone something via AirDrop and THEY ARE in the contacts list on YOUR device, and DO HAVE a picture associated with their contact info, then their AirDrop profile pic will be whatever's stored in your contact info for them.

So, if they don't have you in their contacts, they will see you as a generic gray head. If they have you in their contacts, but don't have a picture, they will see your initials. If they have you in their contacts and have a picture of you, they will see that picture.

I was testing it out between my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, and still have no luck. My photo is saved in the contacts under my name on both devices, and see the gray head both ways. *shruggs*

Hmm, well if you ever figure it out, report back!

can this be used in the new ipad ? cause i have i0s 7 but on my control centre i dont seem to have the air play or air drop option so i wonder if theres any sort of setting i need to make? please advice

The third generation 'New iPad' (ie, with the old dock connector but with a retina screen) doesn't support Airdrop sadly.

I've found in my testing (admittedly with only one person so far) that if he activates Contacts Only in Airdrop I can't see him, despite having both his phone number and iCloud email address listed as him in my contacts.

Maybe we'll see some of this clear up in 7.0.1 or something.

It's only iPhone 5 and higher, iPad (4th gen), iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th gen).

even i cant see airdrop option on my control center ???? whyyy ?!?!?!?

only the latest IPHONES will have airdrop that is your iphone 5 and above

Appears that with ios7 airdrop you can't share files with osx airdrop. Meaning, no sending files from iphone to mbp.

They had the resources to make the red notification icons move, but not to make their own services talk to each other. Well played.

I still have OS X Lion, the very OS that introduced AirDrop to begin with, and so far I haven't been able to get it to work with my iPhone??? Does anyone know if Apple really decided to make airdrop useless on the OS that introduced it??

In our tests, we haven't been able to get it to work either. In truth, AirDrop hardly functioned at all during the iOS beta (the GM is the first one that would work without turning off all WiFi Access Points in the area first). I'm expecting a quick update in the coming months to patch this as well as the lock-screen bypass security flaw.

I can make Airdrop work for photo transfer between iPhone 5 & 4th generation iPad but can't get the share icon when trying to transfer a music file. Anyone know how to do this?

I just updated air pad and mini to 7.1 and now Airdrop will not work. Used that feature extensively before. Reset everything that could possibly be reset, including router and modem. Toggled Airdrop on and off,between everyone and contracts only, turned AirPad and mini completely off, toggled the Bluetooth on and off. Toggled the wifi on and off. Nothing works. Wish I never updated. I used airdrop extensively. If you use and rely on Airdrop, do NOT update to iOS 7.1.

I used to be able to Airdrop photos from my pads to my phone and vice versa. PDF files and txt files from Pages and Goodreader between devices. I used to be able to Airdrop email attachments that were in the form of photos and docs and PDF's between devices and now I can't. Apple better fix this.

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