How to share passwords with AirDrop in iOS 12

By

Is this gentleman about to share a password using AirDrop?
Is this gentleman about to share a password using AirDrop?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 adds the ability to share passwords via AirDrop, which is super-duper useful. Maybe you want to send your Netflix password to your spouse so you can watch that movie on his iPad, or maybe the password you just created for the local grocery delivery service. In short, any time you have previously used 1Password (or Cult of Mac sponsor Dashlane) to show your password in large type so somebody else could copy it, then you can now use AirDrop. And here’s how:

iOS can already share passwords for specific tasks. Bring your iPhone close to your friend’s iPhone when they are trying to log into your home Wi-Fi, for example, and you’ll be prompted to send the Wi-Fi password. You can do something something similar with two of your own devices, using an old one to automatically transmit login details to a new device using Automatic Setup.

Now, in iOS 12, you can explicitly send any password you have saved in your keychain, to anyone you can see on AirDrop,

How to share a password with AirDrop iOS 12

You can share a password from this screen.
You can share a password from this screen.
Photo: Cult of Mac

To share a password in iOS 12, you have to begin in the Settings app. Go to Settings > Passwords and Accounts, and then tap on Website & App Passwords. You’ll have to authenticate with Touch ID or Face ID, and then you’ll see a list of your saved passwords.

Use the search bar to find the password you’re looking for, and tap to reveal. Already you will have seen how primitive the built-in iOS password manager is when compared to options like 1Password, or Cult of Mac’s official password manager Dashlane. But it gets the job done.

How do you share the passcode? There’s no share arrow, for example, or obvious buttons to send it. This may, or course, change in the iOS 12 final release. Right now you have top on the password filed itself, and then choose AirDrop… from the pop-up bubble. Then, a standard AirDrop box will pop up, and you’ll be prompted to share.

Receiving a passcode via AirDrop in iOS 12

When you receive a password via AirDrop, you’ll see this:

This is what happens whe you send a password to yourself.
This is what happens whe you send a password to yourself.
Photo: Cult of Mac

If you don’t already have the password, i.e. you’re not sending it to yourself in order to test the feature, then you can just save it into your keychain.

And you’re done! You now have a password, sent directly from one device to another over an AirDrop connection. That means you can even share passwords securely when out and about, without any kind of Wi-Fi or cellular access. Although one wonders why you’d need to share a password in such a situation.

This is a small addition to iOS that will make a big difference to a lot of people. And that seems to be the main point of iOS 12. Little tweaks that just make things easier.