Weekly Poll: Have You Ever Used AirDrop?

One of the many new additions to OS X in Lion was AirDrop, a simple way to share files between Macs over WiFi. It sounded like a great solution, but turned out to be a bit more complicated than it seemed at first.

For one thing, the Macs would have to be on the same network, and without tweaking, AirDrop only works over WiFi. You’ll have to head over to terminal and do some tweaking to get AirDrop working over Ethernet. Then, it doesn’t work between OS X and iOS, making it only useful for sharing files between Macs on the same network — which in all likelihood means you already have another file sharing system in place.

There’s apps that one-up AirDrop’s functionality, such as Instashare, which hope to take the idea to the next level by bringing cross-platform sharing and more to the idea behind AirDrop. And there’s always the hope that Apple will do more with AirDrop in future versions of OS X (and perhaps iOS).

But as it is right now, have you used AirDrop? Is it something you use all the time, or did you just try it out for the novelty of it, and then quit using it soon after? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!


  • http://calebgrove.com Caleb Grove

    I find that Airdrop is usually too much work for what you gain, Dropbox is just so much easier. The few times I have used Airdrop is when I’m transferring huge files from one computer to the other, and don’t want to connect ethernet. Because Dropbox has to first upload the files to their server, then download them on the respective devices, there is a much longer wait time before they are on the device if you are transferring 1GB or more.

    My summary: It’s too difficult to use for everyday stuff, but if you are transferring large files over the air, then AirDrop does have it’s place.

    • Jeremy

      What’s difficult about dragging items to the sidebar in Finder?

  • http://www.albertkinng.com Albert Kinng

    Well, if Apple wanted us to use it they needed to open the compatibility circle to us to rely on that feature. Not all my Macs are new and it seems just the new Macs can enjoy the Airdrop feature. Bad bad bad Apple :(

  • David

    I’ve never used it, but I WOULD use it heavily if I could. Even though it isn’t brand-new technology, the trouble is that I only recently bought a Mac that is new enough to support it. All other machines in my home are too old for it (unless I want to do some Terminal hacking). I’d probably use it quite regularly otherwise.

  • Phil

    Think it is summed up already, we have new macs in the house, so does come in handy quite a bit; if we had a mix of compatible macs then it would be hit and miss on its usage.

  • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

    I used it once to see what it did.

    • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

      Ha! Same here :)

  • Rob

    I’ve being using DropCopy with 10.6.8 to share files on my network. I’m still using it with 10.8.2. Didn’t know AIrDrop existed…

  • JM

    No, but I’ll definitely use it as soon as it supports iOS^W^Wis cloned as an Open Source protocol with an implementation for jail-broken Apple devices and other OS. Let’s face it, it’s doomed to die soon anyway, just like FireWire, iMessage, AirPlay, AirPrint, iCloud and all the other “standards” Apple isn’t going to open up. Non-universal standards are needed like a hole in the head. They are only there to fill a gap until someone else does it right.

    • Sigilist

      Obsolutely… am very tired of Apple trying to maintain its boxed universe… and boxing in those who cannot or do not need to always buy the latest editions of the whatever.

      Besides… if you have wireless for all devices at work or home, AirDrop is superfluous – a convenience that isn’t a convenience unless you want nothing special or customized to your own way of doing things with your own devices.

  • http://jonathangraft.com Jonathan Graft

    I had to hack my older MBP to allow AirPlay to work with my newer MBP. I like it a lot!

  • Ian C.

    I’ve tried it a couple times. First had to update older Macs as others have mentioned. But even then, mostly one machine doesn’t see the other.
    One time I did get both to see each other, tried to move a multi-GB file and it failed some way through.
    After that, I’ve never bothered trying again, removed airdrop from finder left bar.

    Maybe it’s been improved, but when Apple fails to do “it just works”, they get little patience from me!

  • Brandon

    I love the concept. The only thing that boggles my mind is why does it need to be performed over wi-fi? Surely good ol’ ethernet should be a viable option as well.

    • Maarten

      That’s because it’s an ad-hoc connection between different macs over WiFi. I’ve been using it many times fr transfering files between my co-workers when working on location. It’s brilliant.

  • http://www.mactexan.com Joe Kelley

    I only use AirDrop on occasions when I need to pass my 12-yr-old daughter a file. I’ve tried setting her up on one of our home network shares, but she tends to move or delete things I don’t want changed. AirDrop is a simple way to easily get her what she needs and ONLY what she needs.

  • Kevin

    The text says that you need to be on the same network, but this is not correct. I used it quite often in my job, where a policy denies us to connect our privat computers to the companies network. So a collegue of mine and me needed to find a way to send files. AirDr

  • Andrew

    I use air drop a lot within the house to share files. I find it very useful and it is the first thing we go to when sharing files within the house.

  • Abramelin

    Why bother with it? DropCopy does the same thing and it works between both old and new macs. I approve of backwards compatibility!

  • nemesit

    It is pretty awesome as it even works without being on the same network and other such magic tricks ;-p

  • otak

    AirDrop helped me nicely but freezed in the middle of the process and after that didn’t see the other Mac.

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