One of the new features announced at WWDC today for iOS 7 was AirDrop. The new feature allows iOS users (iPod Touch 5th-gen, iPad Mini, iPad 4th-gen, and iPhone 5 only) to share photos, videos, contact information, and more with the tap of a button.
The file-sharing feature should be welcomed with open arms to iOS users, as it will allow for a much faster way of sharing content to one another. Sharing is all done on-screen, as when you select the content you want to share and a list of available users will appear. After tapping the user you want to share the file with, AirDrop will send it to the device through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The lack of NFC seems to be a good and a bad thing. While the user may have to go through a list of a handful of people to select the correct person to send the file to (sometimes initializing the connection via NFC could be faster), the feature can be utilized by all iOS devices running iOS 7. Given that no iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch currently ships with a NFC chip, there won’t be any hardware limitations for people rocking an older device.
By default, iOS 7 users are visible to anyone using AirDrop, but said visibility can be changed in the Control Center. After the secure transfer is received, the recipient can choose to save the file, in which is will be stored in to the appropriate application.
Of course, the new feature brings to mind Android’s similar file-sharing feature, Android Beam. Both features get the job done in their own different ways. That said, requiring specific hardware for such a simple feature might not be the best implementation.
iOS users finally have a new and elegant way of sending files without much legwork, and that’s what we’d call a win.
Stay tuned for more great iOS 7 features!