iOS 17: What's New With AirDrop

iOS 17: What's New With AirDrop

With iOS 17, Apple is making the AirDrop sharing tool better so that two Apple devices can quickly and easily share content. Sharing with people nearby has gotten better, exchanging content is now easy, and more.

This guide highlights all of the new AirDrop features you'll find in ‌iOS 17‌.


NameDrop is an AirDrop tool that lets you share contact information with someone by touching two iPhones together. As soon as you connect two devices, a contact sharing screen will appear.

People's contact information and their Contact Poster are shown when you tap on the popup. You can choose to "Receive Only" or share your own contact information in answer. The other person can choose which phone number and email address you want to share. If that person is already in your Contacts app, it will change their information.

NameDrop works between two iPhones running iOS 17. It will also work between an iPhone running iOS 17 and an Apple Watch running watchOS 10 later this year.

Proximity Sharing

There is a new tool for AirDrop called "proximity sharing" that lets you send a file or photo to someone who is right next to you.

Pick out the picture or file you want to send to someone to start the transfer. It will then show you a share screen without you having to tap on the Share Sheet. Just put your unlocked iPhone (or iPad) next to the other person's opened iPad.

If you want to send the picture or file to the person next to you, tap the Share button that appears. When it gets close to the other device, it will instantly receive it and be able to use it.

You can share files this way even if receiving via AirDrop is disabled or limited to friends. This way lets you share a file with someone without changing your AirDrop settings as a whole. When two iPhones are close to touching, the proximity sharing function works. Usually, AirDrop works with someone in the same room.

Go to Settings > General > AirDrop and turn "Bringing Devices Together" on or off to turn sharing through closeness on or off.

Transfers Over the Internet

Apple wants to make it possible for AirDrop transfers to finish over the internet in iOS 17. So if you want to share a lot of pictures or files with someone, you won't have to be close by for the transfer to finish.

You can share files pretty quickly with AirDrop, but if you want to share a big movie, you might not want to be close to the other person while the transfer is going on. To send files over the internet, both people must have iOS 17 and be signed into iCloud.


A new tool called SharePlay lets you start SharePlay by being close to someone, similar to how AirDrop works. This is useful if you want to listen to music or watch a movie with someone nearby.

If you start SharePlay material on one iPhone or iPad and then put it next to another iPhone or iPad, the Messages app will start a SharePlay session. The closeness method is faster than the Share Sheet method for starting a SharePlay session, but both work the same way.

Being close When everyone wants to use their own device but share the same material, like on a plane, SharePlay comes in handy.

SharePlay over AirDrop can be added by app developers, but both users will need to have the app installed and be able to view the content for it to work.


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