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Limitations and Requirements

Limitations and Requirements

Sadly, not all is pure bliss in the AirDrop world. AirDrop has requirements that will eliminate some of us from reaching this nirvana of sharing between devices.

Only some Apple iOS devices include both Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities, so that limits the devices that will be AirDrop-capable. The iPhone 5 or later, all new iPads sold after November 2012, and all new iPod Touch devices sold after October 2012 have the latest Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities. Any earlier iOS devices won’t see AirDrop as a sharing option.

You also need to be running iOS 7 or later on all the devices.

AirDrop-capable iOS devices include:

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad (4th generation) or later
  • iPad Air or later
  • iPad mini or later
  • iPod touch (5th generation) or later

Even though Macs have included AirDrop since 2011, you cannot use AirDrop to share between Macs running OS X Mavericks (10.9) and iOS 7 devices. Macs can only AirDrop with other Macs. iOS devices can only AirDrop with other iOS devices.

As a last note, once you’ve completed sending or receiving files over AirDrop, disable it. You can also disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi if you aren't using them. Disabling these features can help extend your battery life.

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