Will AirDrop for Mac OS X Lion be coming to iOS?


AirDrop is a new feature Apple will be including in Mac OS X Lion that will allow you to wirelessly transfer files to anyone around you as long as they're also running OS X Lion with AirDrop. Here's a quick description of how AirDrop will work:

With AirDrop in Mac OS X Lion, you can send files to anyone around you — wirelessly. AirDrop doesn’t require setup or special settings. Just click the AirDrop icon in the Finder sidebar, and your Mac automatically discovers other people nearby who are using AirDrop. You’ll even see contact photos for those who are already in your Address Book. To share a file, simply drag it to someone’s name. Once accepted, the file transfers directly to the person’s Downloads folder. When you’re done with AirDrop, close the Finder and your Mac is no longer visible to others.

If that sounds to you like AirPlay or AirPrint for files, well it does to us as well. However Apple hasn't mentioned anything about extending AirDrop to iOS (yet). In theory this would work great for transferring photos, documents, and even media from your Mac to an iPhone or iPad.

We don't know if Apple will be talking about iOS 5) during their iPad 2 announcement next week, but it sure would be nice to see this feature included in iOS at some point.

Wouldn't it?


Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

More Posts



← Previously

Happy Birthday Steve Jobs!

Next up →

Daily Tip: How to set a ringtone

Reader comments

Will AirDrop for Mac OS X Lion be coming to iOS?


This sounds like a great feature. My only question is will it work together with Windows 7? Ya I know this is a mac site but many of us iDevice users still use Windows desktops / laptops.

Yes it would. But first apple must offer some basic features of a smartphone for which have to currently rely on JB.

You can not claim That, it isnt available now. Stop nagging, And you Will see THE final results when Lion becomes available to non-developers. You'll be amazed by it's blazing speed compared to the sluggish Dropbox

Homegroup can't find the iDevices. I have two Win7 PCs in my home network. And neither one can see my iPhone 4 or iPod touch 4th gen.

The only way to work around the sandbox model is with intermediate storage (e.g. Dropbox or MobileMe), but then every app has to support the intermediary and you end up with duplicates everywhere. I don't see AirDrop coming to iOS as long as it's sandboxed.

What about DropCopy, you can send to and from iOS devices as well as other Macs that are on the same network with it. It's in the Mac App store for free and you can get a free version in the iPhone App store and there is a paid version for iOS devices that has more features.
I use the free versions to send photos, etc. to my iPhone and between my two iMacs and my MacBook Pro. It's actually even easier than this sounds and it works great. And, no, I don't work for them, just really like the app.

I think that the chances of Apple implementing AirDrop on iOS devices is dependent upon whether or not the make Mobileme free. If they make Mobileme free then I think they will. If they don't make it free then I don't think they will because they want people to pay money and use iDisk to share files.

That is wht you can do on any non apple handset using bluetooth from years now (officially). Correct me if i am wrong

it doesn't work like that when the file gets sent over you the one receiving the file will have to accept it so you won't get files on your computer without you knowing.

This would be a home run for Apple, if include with ISO would be game over for other "smart phones".

Don't know about airdrop, but lion server will wirelessly transfer files.
File Sharing for iPad
Lion Server delivers wireless file sharing for iPad. Enabling WebDAV in Lion Server gives iPad users the ability to access, copy, and share documents on the server from applications such as Keynote, Numbers, and Pages.

MMS !!!!!!???????!!!!!!! thats crazy man. We're not talking about sharing a 300x150 image of a puppy. But transferring presentation files, design mockups, and notes, with the other people in the meeting

I wouldn't be surprised if this came out with the next update, it would be extremely useful tool to have, especially if you can use it with your mac to transfer files really quick without having to sync.

No it is not the same as email and MMS as that uses the internet/dataplan to transfer files. This is a method of transferring files wirelessly, like via a router!
Apple will not allow this to work with ipad/iphone otherwise idisk would be useless and you can't transfer files to an iphone anyway! (apart from pdfs)
one thing i would like though, is for it to work with windows, maybe they'll include this on their next update of bonjour.

you're all missing the point. Talking about all the other apps that do similar things.
Its about apple integrating the service IN the OS. So no apps to run, but integrated in finder.
And EVERYBODY would have it. so it would always work. (yeey apple, stuff works)
instead of 10 people in the meeting have dropbox, other 2 have EZshare, etc etc

Wrong. It's about working without any infrastructure, including access to a WiFi network.

The problem is that ios does not have a filesystem (from apple that is). There are however a million other filesystems from other companies. So to/from where in iPad should files be dropped ? Not having an official filesystem on ios is the most braindead feature of ios.

It does not need a filesystem for AirDrop to work. It can be a standalone app on iOS just like iDisk. And from within it, you can open files with...[insert appropriate app here].
Also, we need an AirDrop client for Windows, for it to be a really useful feature.

Ok.. Dropbox is handy, but I don't want to send the file from my iOS device to someplace slow on the Internet, and then go to my mac and redownload it slowly; therefore transferring the file twice when it could be once.. Makes better sense send files directly to the mac, or directly to the iOS device..

The problem with airdrop is is limited to a very select models of macs running OSX lion. There really no point to it when a new Mac and old Mac work flawlessly with others like dropbox or subarctic. Anyone know why there is no ability to put airdrop on the Mac pros and MacBooks from a previous year?

Everything has a filesystem Tommy, they just don't let you access it, otherwise the iOS devices would not even work.

These mapping applications are very useful. Especially, when you are in a surrounding that you aren't aware much about. Some of the applications that I have used on my phone are very user-friendly and I think this is the main factor application developers should think about while creating an application.