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Like this article? We recommend Taking Care of the Preliminaries

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.

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