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.”
One of Android’s best file transfer apps has finally made the leap to iOS. AirDroid makes it incredibly easy to wirelessly transfer all kinds of file formats between your devices. And unlike AirDrop, it’s not exclusively for Apple devices.
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.
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.
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.
AirDrop on iOS makes it easier to share images and other files with the people around you than ever before, but it’s also a great way to troll innocent bystanders with space sloths. But there’s a way to protect yourself.
When you need to move files quickly between two Apple devices, AirDrop is an incredibly useful tool. It started out as a Mac-to-Mac thing, and then iPhone-to-iPhone, but with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, AirDrop becomes even more powerful: Now you can share files from Mac to iPhone (or iPad) and vice versa.
One of the things you can do to keep them out of your precious files is to turn off File Sharing completely. Then, if you still want to share files with other Mac users, you can use AirDrop, which is more of a temporary opening of the security gates than File Sharing is.
Note that you can indeed improve security while using File Sharing on and setting up your Firewall with specific ports, but that’s the subject of a different tip.
Let’s say you’re at a conference, and you meet someone you’d like to share your contact information with. You could both download one of many apps in the App Store for this express purpose, you can hand them a business card, or you can just use the simplest solution: send them an email or text message with your contact info.
It’s super easy to do, and takes way less time than downloading an app. It’s also more efficient than a business card, since you know no one actually keeps those, right?