Photo: Courtesy Apple.
If you're running OS X 10.7 Lion, you've probably noticed a little feature in your Finder called AirDrop. And we bet you've never used it. It was introduced as a simplified way to share files with other nearby Mac users on the same network. But AirDrop never really been more useful than third-party cloud services like Dropbox, which doesn't limit you by your recipient's operating system, or even good old-fashioned email for smaller files. The new iOS 7, however, has also included AirDrop among its bevy of of new features. And that might just be what it needs to transform from computer clutter to useful service.
First off, make sure you're compatible. AirDrop works with all iPhone 5 models, the latest iPad, iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch. You'll also need to set up an iCloud account.
And now for what it does: With AirDrop, you can share photos, contacts, notes, bookmarks, iTunes Radio stations, and more. By scaling down the size of the kinds of files you'd want to swap with another iDevice user, AirDrop becomes more useful. Sure, you could still select your photos, attach them to an email, and send them to your intended recipient. But AirDrop cuts out a few of those steps and streamlines the process.
To set it up, go to your Control Center — we're assuming you've already updated to iOS 7 — and tap on the AirDrop button. From there you can choose to be discoverable to everyone, to just your contacts, or not at all. Then you can start sharing: Hit the Share button on a given song or cat photo, and any available contacts (who are either in Bluetooth range and on the same Wi-Fi network) will appear. Once the file is transferred, it will appear in your recipient's respective app catalog — Photos for photos, iTunes for songs, etc. But unlike with MMS and email, your recipient can also choose deny the file, which saves their precious flash storage space if you're the type that incessantly sends videos of your baby eating cereal. You know who you are. (MacWorld)