Is AirDrop in iOS 7 lacking without integration with AirDrop for Mac? [Poll]

AirDrop is coming to the iPhone and iPad finally with iOS 7, but at least for now, it doesn't integrate with AirDrop for the Mac. So, is it lacking something without this? AirDrop on Mac is something I use all the time on my own machines to throw stuff between them, and I'm pretty happy with how it works. AirDrop on iOS 7 sounds like the same exact great system, but limited to use between iOS devices. That's great, and all, but wouldn't it be even better if you could AirDrop things from your iPhone over to your Mac?

I'm firmly in the 'yes' camp on this one. When the rumors first emerged that AirDrop would be a part of iOS 7, my first question was; "will it let me send stuff to my Mac?" The problem with moving things to and from an iOS device with a Mac is still iTunes. You still have to be connected – even wirelessly – to iTunes to move things across. Getting files to and from apps is more involved than it really should be, and even though iCloud takes away some of the pain, it doesn't let you have the actual files.

OK, so a large number of iOS users also use a Windows PC, or a Linux box, or a Chromebook, and so they're not likely interested in this at all. But, AirDrop is an Apple thing. Sure, it's wireless transfer at the end of the day, but Apple doesn't need to worry about making it work with anything other than the Mac. So, why not? What do you guys think? Happy enough just sending things between iOS devices, or like me, do you long for something more? Sound off in the comments below!

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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There are 46 comments. Add yours.

Rick Abraham says:

Instashare (http://instashareapp.com) works great for transferring files between IOS and Mac devices. Goodreader on IOS devices helps in file management too.

Gazoobee says:

So your first thought was to advertise some products? Good one (not).

GuyBey0ndC00L says:

I honestly through Airdrop for iPhone supports Mac too. If not what's the point. Truth is I rather bump phones.....

pepsijosh says:

To be really honest I'd rather they used bluetooth & NFC like every other phone =P

I don't see the point in having AirDrop unless they make this something that Android, BlackBerry & Windows Phones can also use, not everyone has an iPhone & it'll be much better to be able to transfer files to other devices that is multiplatform instead of having features that only benefit other iOS users...same with iMessage.

Sure there are alternatives like Facebook, WhatsApp, E-Mail etc but pictures do loose quality when uploaded to these services as they are compressed =/

Solamar says:

Meh.. bluetooth .. ick.. Good for Audio and mice.. not so good for file sharing.. to many hoops to jump through.. and because of it's standards, not likely to change.

pepsijosh says:

Don't get me wrong I love the idea with AirDrop it is brilliant if the other OS's can do it too; I'm not sure on the technical side of how AirDrop works all I know is that it works via an Ad-Hoc network but in terms of security & authentication not a clue therefore I'm not sure if this is something that can be universal.
What I'm getting at is about being multiplatform not what is a better standard; the more universal a feature is the better it is for the customer at the moment Bluetooth is the most universal, I didn't say it was perfect =)

Caspar Aremi says:

AirDrop for iOS does actually use Bluetooth rather than wifi like it does for Macs. Was confused seeing the bluetooth icon light up whenever I turned it on.

Sincerely hope this is something that's in the pipeline. I rarely want to send anything to other peoples phones, but want stuff from my phone on to my Mac several times a day.

guarino85 says:

Maybe I'm wrong, but what I read is that it uses Bluetooth for discovering devices and wifi for transferring files, in fact they have to be connected to the same wifi network (not sure if it creates a hotspot to establish a point-to-point connection tho)

GuyBey0ndC00L says:

Without Mac and other device Support Airdrop is an annoying way to MMS iPhone to iPhone. Dropbox is this king.

manand_nz says:

It baffles me, the way Apple designs software; Considering the amount of thought that goes into their hardware design and product placement.

Even simple concepts like ring tones took ages to implement let alone the iCloud - which is a beast and then there was the mapping debacle.

Somewhere there's isolation between idea construct and actual implementation.

Ironically, for a company so capable and focussed on simplicity, it seems to miss out on simple things...

Maybe Airdrop will come to Mac but seriously why not plan it ground up to begin with. After all it's one family !

Sent from the iMore App

N4uajBill says:

I wonder if since it is still in Beta possibly two months out from release that by the time it makes Golden Master we will have this feature

Adam Geo says:

iPad 2 doesn't support airdrop at all. iOS7 doesn't support 3GS. It's like Apple got jealous of androids fragmentation. It would make sense if iOS 7 was too much for the 3GS to handle but everything runs faster and smoother on a 3GS compared to the 4 due to its weak graphics processor not handling retina very well. As for airdrop on iPad 2, is there any excuse? Other than they want you to upgrade? If that's the only reason they'll be happy to know it worked... bastards :)

RoboWarrior says:

Anything other then a iPad 4, iPad mini, or iPhone 5 will not support airdrop due to hardware limitation. These devices have a different wireless chip. Also the dropping of the 3GS is just Apple getting rid of the last non retina iPhone.

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williamsbh76 says:

Yeah and I don't know many companies that would still support a device as old as the 3GS. Buy the time iOS 7 drops (and assuming it drops with the latest gen iPhone) that will be four years and four generations of devices still supported. Not trying to turn this to android bashing party but you are lucky to buy a droid and still have it supported with new OS's after a year. And RIM hasn't done it since OS 5! I think it's awesome that any company that still does it nowadays, especially with mobile devices. Some features will always be left out for older devices but if you own an iPhone 4 and can still get over 90% of iOS 7 goodness, take it and run. 3GS owners: it might be time time to piss on the fire and call it a night.

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CORYK333 says:

That last line......epic (can't believe I've never heard that used before)
--tips cap to you, you witty bastard :)

Michael Scrip says:

-- "iPad 2 doesn't support airdrop at all. iOS7 doesn't support 3GS. It's like Apple got jealous of androids fragmentation." --

We must have different definitions of fragmentation.

A 2 year old iPad and a 4 year old iPhone not getting brand new feature is *not* what I'd consider fragmentation.

On the other hand... a brand new Android phone that ships with last year's OS and will never go beyond that *is* what I'd call fragmentation.

Chetan Takyar says:

Does the iPad 2 have a wifi direct chipset? No. Does the iPhone 3GS have a good processor? no. Sorry but shut up about stuff you don't know about.

danmcq says:

I think it's insane that they called it AirDrop and yet it doesn't work with their existing 'AirDrop.' I was literally shocked when I was playing with the feature initially and discovered that it didn't work with Macs.

ryannosaurus says:

"I was literally shocked when I was playing with the feature..."

Ouch. Short in the charger's cord?

Paul5555p says:

I use Dropbox, and like it. Since AirDrop on iOS7 isn't going to work with my Mac then Dropbox I shall continue to use...and like.

abazigal says:

Dropbox is great if you want to view files from your mac on your IOS device. Less so the other way around, as I find it a pain to move files from apps into dropbox (seems to be no direct way).

I wonder how airdrop from mac might work. Say I airdrop a pdf from my imac to my iPhone. A window pops up asking me which app I want to open it in?

jhoove09 says:

I, like others here, am surprised to learn Airdrop will not work with my Mac. I thought that was the point of the feature. I can use iMessage to share most anything is want to with another iPhone. If that feature is going to be mobile to mobile only, does it need to be included in the OS or is it best to leave it to an app to handle? I hope Apple adds this to a later build.

Ask SUAPP says:

It doesn't? I just assumed it would support Mac too, there's no reason why it shouldn't

Dan Rucker says:

It needs to be cross platform. Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. If Google can do it, then so can Apple.

abazigal says:

Apple can, but they won't. Their services is there to help sell hardware, so they are not going to let you use their software if you haven't paid for their devices.

Dark_Blu says:

I have no need for Air Drop on Mac, iPhone, or iPad. "Photo sharing" is what I have instagram for. I don't need to do Photo sharing anywhere other than instagram. Have fun with Air Drop, wherever you may use it.

Chetan Takyar says:

You think Airdrop is only for photo sharing? :head desk:

joshua catimpo says:

Im pretty sure you dont know what "Airdrop" is, right?
IT IS NOT:
a social site
a photosharing
a Cloud storage

NO, i facepalmed when you said your words XD

Airdrop is for transferring files,
Maybe ou thought airdrop was like " ooh im gonna put a photo in airdrop and it will post to facebook, DHUYGHUEIGHEUGHE"
and im also assuming you have never owned a mac

Maxpower1980 says:

I don't have a Mac, so this functionality would not apply to me, but if they made it cross platform and perhaps integrated it with the iCloud app already available on Windows PCs or even a new standalone app it sounds like I'd love it. I'm waiting patiently for Windows versions of FaceTime and iMessage as is. On the one hand at least they have photo stream integration through the iCloud app, but I'm just not a fan of the desktop Mac OS as compared to Windows, not to mention a lot of games are not Mac compatible and there's no Blu Ray support in addition to the fact Macs are expensive and prohibitive of both custom configurations and AMD CPUs, both of which I enjoy on my Windows box. In short, Apple, I love iOS and you're going to get all kinds of money from me through that so how about some more cross platform "ice water in hell" for those of us die hard users of both the most popular smartphone platform and the most popular desktop one? Trust me, by holding out you're not going to get another desktop convert anytime soon but you'll have at least one very disappointed loyal iOS enthusiast.

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Solublepeter says:

Even if you couldn't do the wifi direct part of AirDrop, I don't see why you couldn't have similar capabilities (to share data) over a shared wifi network.

The technical implementation should be hidden from the user, of course, but they should see compatible devices on the local network and be able to drag and drop data to them.

As another poster suggested, "Instashare"is pretty good for this in the meantime, but I would like to see a system-level solution.

skellener says:

It's things like this that make me furious at Apple. Their whole mantra is "knowing when to say no". Why would you bring AirDrop to iOS and NOT have it support the Mac as well? What possible reason is there to limit it to ONLY iOS? Of course it should work across ALL of your Apple devices....IT SHOULD JUST WORK!!! Not supporting AirDrop from iOS to the Mac is just lame.

Gazoobee says:

I would say yes also, and I've been reading reviews of AirDrop avidly since it was first announced at the WWDC and this is the first time I've found anyone who actually confirms this in a factual way, so I think that most folks out there are unaware of this fact.

Once iOS 7 is out and people realise that it doesn't work with your Mac, I think there will be significant disappointment as the assumption would be that it would. I know quite a few people that were counting on this feature as a way to solve the file transfer problem, because it's really the biggest problem with mass deployment of iOS devices.

iRngrhawk says:

Just use iMessage and send the file that way.

Sent from the iMore App

dublex says:

This is what Apple does. They introduce a new feature in iOS or OSX but leave out necessary and useful features in order to have something to present in the next iteration of iOS / OSX.

It's sickening...

DBKILLN says:

Apple does this every year, leave out essential items then add them the following year, innovative, not so much, smart, from a business stand point of course. It bugs me, like adding MMS years later when I had it on my cheap Nextel years ago. Adding only .5" on the screen, just now adding "Mark all as read on email", I can keep going. I've stuck by apple bcus they standardize the industry and they're product just work but nowadays when a app releases I get people asking is there an android app, they've caught up and apple isn't doing enough...

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ydangle says:

Flick is a good alternative. getflick.io

Tim Nicholson says:

Strangely, Airdrop for iOS uses Bluetooth while Airdrop for Mac uses wifi. Its good that iOS supports Bluetooth because its lower power, but I'm not sure why it wouldn't just use wifi as well to communicate with the Mac. Further, Bluetooth has standards and we *should* be able to send contacts, notes, photos, etc. to a Windows PC or Android or Blackberry device. We're all iOS here, so I can't test it with another phone.

Joel likes Ellie says:

I found this article while searching for the final solution to share things from my iPad to the Mac and now I find out that it is not compatible with each other. Bitch please, I'm a little dissapointed, bitten apple!

RME_88 says:

Same here, I was trying to find out why I couldn't get it to work thinking I was doing something stupid, then I find out it's not compatible... Maybe this will change when they release Mavericks sometime next month. It would be great if I was able to share anything from my iPad Mini / iPhone 5 and MacBook Pro without having to send an iMessage, or email or use a 3rd party app.

SamuraiArtGuy says:

I'm a big DropBox fan, considering the size of the files I need to fling about. It's a surprisingly elegant solution to the significant constraints of Apple's implementation of iCloud. But I have to note, as a chap chained to a workstation most of the day, that it's a clear indication that iOS is Apple's priority, not desktop computing. But I can't do prepress or serious webslinging on iOS... at ALL. Still, I would not be surprised to see the feature turn up in OS X Mavericks, it would certainly be welcome. But who knows what the thinking - or priorities - might be deep in the depths of Apple's corporate citadel? As a professional creative and Mac Pro user... been burned and snubbed more than a bit by Apple's iOS and Consumer focus the past decade.

radtrinidad says:

Having AirDrop integration would be fantastic! As it is, I use iCloud to move stuff to my Mac computers which isn't too bad. However, privacy is an issue for some people who don't want to store data in the cloud, so having AirDrop would resolve that little issue.

jorgefilemon says:

yep! pretty much sucks!. I was trying to send some wallpapers i downloaded on my macbook to my iphone via airdrop but then realized, they are not compatible. bummer!

Genjoke says:

I use Apple products since 1984. My first mac run under MacOS 6.0.3. I've always shared files via file sharing. I see no point in AirDrop. Unless two laptop users need to transfer files in a place where they're not connected to a network. I am sending files, urls etc all the time to my other macs, i have an alias for each of theirs desktops on mine. The only point would be MacOS <-> iOS integration.