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Sync, Share, and Print Files Using AirDrop, AirPlay, AirPrint, and Handoff

📄 Contents

  1. Streaming Content from Your iPhone or iPad to Other Compatible Devices Using AirPlay
  2. Printing Files Wirelessly Using an AirPrint-Compatible Printer
  3. Using Handoff

Learn how to use iOS technologies to connect with other devices including sharing content, playing media, and begin a task on one of your Mac/iOS devices, and then pick up exactly where you left off on another Mac or iOS mobile device.

This chapter is from the book

When it comes to syncing and sharing files and data (including app-specific data), your iOS mobile device is equipped with several tools, including AirDrop, AirPlay, AirPrint, Continuity, and Handoff. These technologies are in addition to iCloud, which is covered in Chapter 6, “Use iCloud and the iCloud Drive App.”

The AirDrop tool enables your iPhone or iPad to wirelessly transfer certain types of files (including photos) and app-specific data to other iPhones, iPads, and Macs that are in close proximity, and that also support the AirDrop function.

To turn on the AirDrop feature on your iPhone or iPad, launch Control Center by swiping your finger upward from the very bottom of the screen (shown in Figure 5.1). When the Control Center appears, tap the AirDrop option.

Figure 5.1

Figure 5.1 Tap the AirDrop button in Control Center to access the AirDrop menu (shown here on an iPad).

From the AirDrop menu (shown in Figure 5.2), choose whether you want to use AirDrop to communicate with any other nearby users (Everyone) or only with people in your Contacts database (Contacts Only). It’s also possible to turn off the feature altogether by selecting the Receiving Off option.

Figure 5.2

Figure 5.2 The AirDrop menu enables you to choose whether to utilize this feature with all nearby iPhone, iPad, and Mac users or only people who are in your Contacts database.

When it’s turned on, use this feature to send content from the Share menu that’s built in to compatible apps. For example, if you want to send a photo to another AirDrop user (or one of your other compatible Macs or mobile devices), launch Photos, view and select the photo(s) you want to send, and then tap the Share icon.

When the Share menu is displayed (shown in Figure 5.3 on an iPad), thumbnails representing people in close proximity and who have AirDrop turned on are displayed. Tap the intended recipient, and the selected photos are wirelessly sent. The recipient might need to tap the Accept button to accept the file transfer (shown in Figure 5.4).

Figure 5.3

Figure 5.3 Select AirDrop from the Share menu of compatible apps to send app-specific content to other iOS mobile devices and Mac users.

Figure 5.4

Figure 5.4 Shown on an iPhone 5c, the recipient of files sent via AirDrop might need to accept what’s being sent by tapping the Accept button.

After you receive content via AirDrop, to access that content, launch the relevant app. For example, to view, organize, or edit photos you receive, open the All Photos/Camera Roll album in the Photos app. If you receive a Contacts entry, it is automatically added to your Contacts database and is accessible from the Contacts app.

Streaming Content from Your iPhone or iPad to Other Compatible Devices Using AirPlay

AirPlay is a wireless feature that enables your mobile device to stream content such as photos, videos, or audio, to an AirPlay-compatible device, such as Apple TV, a Mac, or AirPlay-compatible speakers.

To use AirPlay, your iOS mobile device and the other AirPlay-compatible device must be connected to the same wireless home network (via Wi-Fi). Then, when you turn on the AirPlay feature, the two compatible devices automatically establish a wireless connection.

After the connection is made, an AirPlay icon appears in compatible apps, such as Music, Videos, and Photos, enabling you to transfer (stream) what you would otherwise see on your iPhone or iPad’s screen, or what would be heard through the device’s speaker, to another compatible device.

In addition to being able to stream photos and video (including iTunes Store TV show and movie purchases and rentals), you can use AirPlay to connect external speakers (without cables) to your iOS mobile device, and then stream music (from Apple Music, Pandora, or Spotify, for example) or other audio (such as audiobooks or podcasts) from your device to those compatible speakers.

When it’s available, one of the easiest ways to turn AirPlay on or off is to access it from Control Center. Tap the AirPlay icon, and then choose where you want to stream the content.

In Figure 5.5, AirPlay is being turned on from Control Center and an AirPlay device (in this case, Apple TV) is being selected.

Figure 5.5

Figure 5.5 The AirPlay icon and menu in Control Center.

Figure 5.6 shows that an iPad is wirelessly connected to an Apple TV device to stream digital photos stored in the Photos app on the tablet, so that they can be viewed on the HD television set that’s connected to the Apple TV device.

Figure 5.6

Figure 5.6 From Photos, tap the AirPlay icon and then select Apple TV (when available) to stream photos from the iPhone or iPad being used to an HD television set (with an Apple TV device connected).

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