AirDrop dropping in

If you are having trouble finding AirDrop on your iPad there is help at About.com. AirDrop transfers files to compatible devices/computers on the same network. AirDrop comes with iPad 5s and Mountain Lion and I have been using on my iPad 5 since I got it at the end of last year and had no idea there was the famously infamous AirDrop. I know the symbol. I use it all the time to email and DropBox files. Airdrop is supposed to directly connect the wireless capabilities of devices/computers and create a peer to peer network which is then not using bandwidth. On a MacBook you can turn it on and off by using the sidebar and then also see a map of who is available:

Finder > sidebar to the left. AirDrop is listed in the sidebar> Click AirDrop > you can see an animated radar icon which has activated by AirDrop and shows who is broadcasting >Click on another one of the sidebar options> Airdrop is now off.

What is wrong with an on/off switch? Leaving it to some random find in the control panel of the iPad or the Finder sidebar of the MacBook tends to suggest the default Apple wants is Always ON…which is a security risk and poor device management. Bluetooth can be switched on and off. Mobile data can be switched on and off. Wifi can be switched on and off. Why not AirDrop? No wonder people have found their new iPhones and iPads were running out of battery power too quickly.

This is from the Apple site:

Looking for a fast way to share files with people nearby? With AirDrop, you can send files to anyone around you wirelessly — no Wi-Fi network required. And no complicated setup or special settings. Just click the AirDrop icon in the Finder sidebar, and your Mac automatically discovers other AirDrop users within about 30 feet of you. To share a file, simply drag it to someone’s name. Once accepted, the fully encrypted file transfers directly to that person’s Downloads folder.

You have to accept incoming files but if you are inadvertently broadcasting then you are there to be discovered by anyone who can connect to your device. Apple is not very clear on the protocols and security and for that reason I want to know AirDrop is off unless I specifically choose to use it. I do the same with BlueTooth and wi-fi. I don’t have unsupervised connections! That aside, you can see from the video there are some advantages to AirDrop. How it beats BlueTooth I am not sure. We’ll find out.

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