iOS 17 beta 2 adds AirDrop's big upgrade with NameDrop and more

NameDrop iOS 17
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple announced iOS 17 during the WWDC 2023 opening keynote on June 5 and one of the most impressive demonstrations revolved around NameDrop, a new addition to the AirDrop feature on iPhone. The feature was missing from the first developer beta, but it's now made its debut with the release of iOS 17 beta 2.

Apple's iOS 17 beta 2 release arrived more than two weeks after the first and it's brought with it some notable improvements. But at the very top of the list is perhaps one that will make it easier than ever to share your phone number with other people.

NameDrop makes the whole thing largely automatic, and all you have to do is place your iPhone near someone else's — and it'll even work with the Apple Watch, too.

Creative contact sharing

Sharing your contact details has gotten easier in recent years but it often still boils down to reading out your phone number and hoping that someone else enters it into their own iPhone correctly. The alternative is to take their iPhone and enter it yourself — privacy be damned.

NameDrop changes all of that, and it's likely to be very popular among iPhone users later this year.

NameDrop isn't the only addition here, either. AirDrop now offers up a suggestion when you're trying to send something to another device, saying that you can "try holding the top of this iPhone near another iPhone" to get the ball rolling.

That could help with those times when AirDrop doesn't recognize that a device is nearby, but it's unlikely to work with Macs due to the lack of a U1 chip.

Apple will of course release iOS 17 to the public in September, assuming past schedules are any indication. That'll also be when the company announces its best iPhones to date in the form of the iPhone 15 lineup, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.