5 New AirDrop Features Coming in iOS 17

Since its introduction in iOS 7, AirDrop has become the favored means for iPhone users to instantly share photos, videos, documents, and more to nearby Apple devices with relative ease. Given its widespread popularity, the feature hasn't changed all that much over the years. But this year, Apple is stepping things up a gear by bringing several new capabilities to AirDrop that should make it more powerful than ever.

5 New AirDrop Features Feature
The following five features are coming with Apple's iOS 17 software update, which is expected to arrive in the fall. Are any of them likely to fundamentally change the way you use AirDrop? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of the article.

1. NameDrop

NameDrop was Apple's headline new AirDrop feature in its ‌iOS 17‌ preview. Rather than type in the number of someone new to call or text them so that they have your number, NameDrop allows you to simply hold your ‌iPhone‌ near their ‌iPhone‌ to swap contact details.

ios 17 namedrop
When two iPhones are held close to each other, each person's Contact Poster appears (a picture of yourself that you can customize and edit, new to ‌iOS 17‌). Users can then select which numbers and email addresses in their contact card that they want to share.

The feature also works between an ‌iPhone‌ and a nearby Apple Watch running an upcoming software update, which Apple says will be available "later this year."

2. New AirDrop Gesture to Share Content

The same iPhone-to-iPhone proximity gesture that works for NameDrop also allows users to share content like photos and files.

airdrop ios 17
Simply bringing the two phones close together initiates the transfer over AirDrop, thereby removing the current requirement to manually select the person from the AirDrop device locator via the Share Sheet.

3. Continue AirDrop Over the Internet

The way AirDrop currently works, you have to stay within close proximity to the other person's device for any transfer to complete - if you leave AirDrop range, the transfer fails and the content isn't shared. This can be particularly frustrating when you're sending or receiving several large files like video content.

airdrop videos ios 17
By contrast, if you leave AirDrop range in ‌iOS 17‌, the content you are trying to share with someone continues to be sent securely, and in full quality, over the internet. The only requirement is that both you and your recipient are signed in to iCloud.

4. SharePlay Over AirDrop

Holding two iPhones close together can also be used to initiate a shared activity via SharePlay. This allows the two of you to listen to music or watch a movie together.

airdrop shareplay ios 17
And thanks to a new SharePlay API, third-party developers can make their apps support the gesture, allowing you to drop into the same game together or watch the same stream while using your separate devices.

5. Explicit Image Blurring

iOS doesn't allow just anyone to share a photo or document to your device unless you actively choose to accept it. A longstanding issue with AirDrop however is that it displays a preview of the proposed shared content on your device's screen, whether or not you actually want to see it.

block airdrop image
This had led people to be subjected to unsolicited nude and explicit images. To prevent this in ‌iOS 17‌, Apple is introducing a new opt-in feature that is designed to automatically blur images sent over AirDrop that may have sensitive content like nudity. The content will be blocked, but can be viewed by tapping a "Show" button.

These Sensitive Content Warnings work like the Communication Safety functionality that Apple added for children, with all detection done on device so Apple does not see the content that's being shared.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Tag: AirDrop
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

Top Rated Comments

fwmireault Avatar
11 months ago

NameDrop seems like it's an annoying feature - potentially a privacy concern.
If you find it annoying, you don’t have to use it and can share your contact card in a more traditional way. And it’s hardly a privacy concern if you have the control to allow the sharing or not.

This is just an extra option, nobody has to use it
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jhwalker Avatar
11 months ago

There are/were the business card sharing apps, which work by tapping two phones together.

But yeah, both functionality and privacy concerns here. And that name: how did the gem "name drop" get anyone's approval?
I actually thought the name was quite clever ?‍♂️
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
senttoschool Avatar
11 months ago

If proximity things almost never work the way you want them to then Apple Pay is in the *******
Apple Pay is great. I use it everyday. But this is different. This is iPhone to iPhone.

Heck, I can’t even get Airdrop from my friend to show up half the time while standing next to each other.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
henryngan2006 Avatar
11 months ago

I swear we had a feature like NameDrop from many years ago. Or am I crazy? Maybe it was a Linkedin feature or some 3rd party apps.

NameDrop seems like it's an annoying feature - potentially a privacy concern.

It's one of those features that look cool in a demo but hardly anyone will ever use it, and it'll annoy people more than it will be used intentionally.

I also don't understand the new Airdrop feature. Why would you hold the phones close to each other, which is very unnatural, instead of just selecting who to Airdrop to? These proximity things almost never work the way you want them to.
If proximity things almost never work the way you want them to then Apple Pay is in the *******
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
11 months ago
My only wish for AirDrops: To work efficiently & properly. ??
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
11 months ago

I actually thought the name was quite clever ?‍♂️
Stop it! Forum cred is not earned making positive comments.

Try: Jeeez... It's nice that Apple finally woke up, but my IBM PC could do that. TC needs to be fired for not making these features available 40 years ago.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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