Apple is busy showing off all of its new toys at today’s WWDC, including a brand new way to share content with nearby friends: AirDrop.
The new iOS 7 feature allows Apple users to connect with friends within a close proximity (though Apple didn’t reveal exactly what that distance is) to share things quickly and seamlessly: Web sites, photos, and a plethora of other items. What’s more, it uses peer to peer Wi-Fi, which will help speed up the process exponentially.
Users will be able to share from their native iOS apps and saved filed, but developers will also be able to implement an AirDrop share feature if they so choose. To pass something to a friend, all a user has to do is tap on the AirDrop icon and select one or more nearby friends. Whoever is selected (and nearby) will receive a notification on their device(s) and can then choose whether or not to accept the shared file. If it’s a feature within an app being shared, accepting will launch the app. (Presumably, if your friend doesn’t have the correct app, the App store will launch.)
This makes it insanely easy to share with friends, and increases the speed it takes to transfer files from one device to another. Presenter and lead Apple software engineer Craig Federighi even made a point to take a dig at competitor Samsung saying that, with AirDrop, there’s “no need to stumble around the room bumping your phones together,” referring to, of course, the NFC sharing technology used in Galaxy devices.
AirDrop will be supported on iPhone 5, iPad Mini, and all fifth-generation iPod Touches.