What Is Apple AirDrop?

It's a popular data transfer tool for everything.


AirDrop is Apple’s proprietary peer-to-peer WiFi-based data transfer solution. Since it is peer-to-peer, it means that you can use AirDrop to transfer files, photos, videos, and more between compatible Apple devices.

It uses Bluetooth and WiFi on both devices to connect them and achieve fast transfer speeds. According to a MacRumors thread, AirDrop has an average data transfer speed of 33 Mbps.

Apple AirDrop was launched at the WWDC 2011 with OSX Lion to transfer data between Macs. Later, the company added support for iPhone to Mac transfers with iOS 7 in 2013.

AirDrop is a popular feature among Apple users as it is fast, encrypted, and requires no additional setup. You can access it from the Finder in macOS and Settings on your iPhone. You can also change your AirDrop name and other settings in a couple of easy steps.

Another reason for its popularity is that it eliminates the need for cables, dongles, and USB drives to transfer data. You can also use AirDrop to share web pages and links between your Apple devices.

AirDrop limitations

As efficient as it is, the feature has its own set of limitations. For instance, you still need a USB to Lightning cable to backup your iPhone to your Mac. We have written in detail about the Apple cable ecosystem and its problems. However, not being able to backup an iPhone wirelessly is one of the biggest limitations of AirDrop.

Other than that, its peer-to-peer nature makes it exclusive to the Apple ecosystem, which means no non-Apple devices can use its fast data speeds. This also means that the program is limited to Apple’s innovation. There are no accessories or devices that make use of this fast connection; however, if you’re not using Apple devices, AirDrop alternatives like Nearby Share on Android.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our Short Bytes section. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

Manik Berry

Manik Berry

With a Master’s degree in journalism, Manik writes about big tech and has a keen eye for political-tech news. In his free time, he’s browsing the Kindle store for new stuff read. Manik also adores his motorcycle and is looking for new routes on weekends. He likes tea and cat memes. You can reach him at [email protected]
More From Fossbytes

Latest On Fossbytes

Find your dream job