Taking Care of the Preliminaries
Before you get too excited, you need to be aware of some AirDrop prerequisites. Apple introduced AirDrop functionality in iOS 7; this means that you have to own one of the following iDevice models:
- iPhone 5 or later
- iPad 4th generation or later
- iPad mini
- iPod touch 5th generation or later
If you want to use your iMac or MacBook computer with AirDrop, you need to be running OS X 10.10 Yosemite; there's no wiggle room there because AirDrop just doesn’t exist in prior OS X versions.
Checking Your iOS/OS X Version
Check your iOS version on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad by starting the Settings application and navigating to General > About. In the output, look for the Version setting and make sure it says at least version 7.0.
Check your OS X version on your Mac by opening the Apple menu and selecting About This Mac from the list.
I've collapsed the iOS and OS X dialog boxes into a single screenshot (Figure 2) for your convenience.
Figure 2 Your iDevice or Mac computer must have the proper iOS/OS X version in order to use AirDrop.
Checking Your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Settings
Devices that will communicate by using AirDrop have to (a) be on the same Wi-Fi network and (b) have Bluetooth enabled. On iOS devices, go back to Settings and make sure that you're on your target Wi-Fi network and that Bluetooth is turned on.
On your Mac, click Apple Menu > System Preferences and use the Network and Bluetooth utilities to make the necessary changes. Figure 3 shows you what this looks like on both iOS and OS X platforms.
Figure 3 AirDrop requires that both the sending and receiving devices be Bluetooth-enabled and visible to each other via the same Wi-Fi network.
Okay! Now that we've completed the AirDrop prerequisites, we can move onto the process of actually conducting easy media transfers.