Millions of iPhone owners have unlocked major AirDrop upgrade – check your phone now for handy freebie


MILLIONS of iPhone models have received a huge upgrade to AirDrop.

The beloved feature that lets you quickly share photos, videos, and more with pals is now better than ever.


AirDrop is a convenient way to share files – and it’s received a huge upgrade in iOS 17Credit: Alamy

It’s all thanks to the iOS 17 update, which you can install by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

There are two main changes to how AirDrop works in iOS 17.

The first is that you can now finish AirDrop transfers over the internet.

You only need to initiate the AirDrop in close contact.

But once you move apart from the person, the AirDrop can now continue.

This is extremely handy if you’re trying to send a large file – or loads of photos and videos – to someone that you can only be with for a brief time.

The only caveat is that both participants need to be on iOS 17 and signed into iCloud.

Apple’s second big change is something called Proximity Sharing.

This is designed for when you’re trying to AirDrop files to someone who is right next to you.

First, choose a photo that you want to share and then bring your iPhone close to another person’s iPhone – which must be unlocked.

An AirDrop pop-up will appear without you having to tap anything.

You can then tap the Share button to send the photo of Proximity Sharing.

This will work even if you have AirDrop switched off or limited to contacts.

The idea is that the “proximity” is permission enough for the AirDrop alert to appear on your phone.

AirDrop, by contrast, will work across a room – and has strict rules about who can share content with you.


That’s not the only AirDrop news in iOS 17.

Apple also introduced a spin-off feature to AirDrop called NameDrop.

It works just like Proximity Sharing, but for swapping contact details.

And instead of having to preselect anything on your device, you simply touch your iPhone to the top of another.

This will trigger an interface for sharing your contact details with another person – and receiving theirs too.

You can choose to receive the details only or do a full swap.

And it’s also possible to select the info (like the number and email address) you want to share with someone else.

It’s a great way to swap details in a hurry without having to read out a phone number or hand your device to someone else.