‘Patent troll’ sues Apple over AirDrop technology

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AirDrop shortcut
AirDrop lets you send files between devices.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple introduced its super useful AirDrop file transfer feature way back in 2011. However, a patent licensing company called Uniloc — sometimes referred to as a “patent troll” by critics — claims that Apple is infringing on its intellectual property.

Uniloc says that Apple’s AirDrop tech infringes on a patent first filed in 2000, a decade before Apple debuted AirDrop. And it wants some sweet Apple cash for its troubles!

How to share passwords with AirDrop in iOS 12

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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 a movie on his iPad, or maybe you need to share the password you just created for the local grocery delivery service.

In short, any situation in which you previously used a service like 1Password or Dashlane to show your password in large type so somebody else could copy it, you can now use AirDrop instead. Here’s how.

AirDrop fumble grounds flight for 90 minutes

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Hawaiian Airlines
Use AirDrop with caution on a plane.
Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

A teenage girl grounded an Hawaiian Airlines flight for 90 minutes by accidentally sending fake crime scene photos to other passengers over AirDrop.

Flight 23 was already taxiing the runway on Friday morning when passengers started reporting their concerns to the crew. The 15-year-old distributor was trying to send photos from her high school medical-biology class to her mother.

Microsoft rips off AirDrop for Windows 10

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Windows 10 AirDrop
Windows 10 gets its own AirDrop clone.
Photo: Microsoft

AirDrop, Apple’s incredibly convenient file-sharing feature, has been ripped off by Microsoft. The latest build of Windows 10 introduces the ability to quickly send files between computers using “Near Share.”

How to stop that boarding pass from hogging your lock screen

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boarding pass
If you know where to look, getting the boarding pass off your lock screen is easy.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Picture the scene: You’re on a plane, and your iPhone is your entertainment hub. You may be listening to podcasts, or music, or audiobooks. You may be playing a game, or reading Instapaper, or just checking and editing your vacation photos. Whatever you’re trying to do, it will be interrupted every time you unlock your iPhone, because your stupid boarding pass is right there on the lock screen. Even hours into a transatlantic fight, the boarding pass you already used hangs around, blocking things like the now-playing feature, and lock-screen controls for any music or audio apps.

Thankfully, it’s easy to get rid of — if you know where to look.

How to use AirDrop for instant file sharing

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Airdrop ios iPad iPhone
AirDrop works across the room to make sharing files between Apple devices easy as can be.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

AirDrop, Apple’s built-in sharing feature, lets you beam pretty much anything between any Apple devices. You can use it to share photos, videos, URLS, documents, snippets of text — in short, anything that can be shared using the standard “sharing arrow” icon is fair game for AirDrop.

AirDrop really should be your first choice for sharing, because it doesn’t use the internet to send the files. It connects you and the recipient directly to each other using Wi-Fi, and makes the transfer that way. This makes AirDrop secure and lightning-fast. It also mean it works as well on the top of a mountain as it does in a busy office.

AirDrop vulnerability is the best reason yet to upgrade to iOS 9

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AirDrop has a serious problem.
AirDrop has a serious problem.
Photo: Apple

Hackers have just given iPhone and iPad users a big reason to upgrade to iOS 9 due out later today: it fixes a serious AirDrop security vulnerability.

Mark Dowd, an Australian security researcher with Azimuth Security, revealed this morning that iOS 8.4.1 contains a critic security flaw in AirDrop that could allow an attacker to install malware on any device within range. Worst of all, even if a victim tried to reject the incoming AirDrop file, the bug lets attackers tweak the iOS settings so the exploit will still work.

Check out the lethal bug in action: