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Why does it seem impossible to get AirDrop to work between my MacBook Air (running Mountain Lion) and an iPhone? We can get things to work between iPhones, and between MacBooks, but the iPhones can't see the MacBooks and vice versa. My friend says this is something Apple has done intentionally, but I can't figure out why Apple would go out of their way to make it hard to interoperate within the Apple ecosystem. Please tell us the setting we are missing. I will happily type the longest most arcane command into a Terminal to get this working.

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I don't think you can do this in current version of AirDrop. A PITA workaround may be DropBox AirDrop integration. –  Rich Homolka Nov 24 '13 at 17:24

1 Answer 1

With iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, you can share files over AirDrop between Mac and iOS.

With Mavericks and earlier, and iOS 7, this is not possible. AirDrop on iOS only works with "other nearby iOS 7 devices", and AirDrop on OS X only works "between supported Wi-Fi-enabled Macs" and they must "click the AirDrop icon on their computers".

iOS: Using AirDrop details the inability to share cross-platform:

AirDrop for iOS supports only iOS 7 devices. You cannot use AirDrop on iOS to share with OS X, and OS X users can't use AirDrop to share with iOS devices.


AirDrop on OS X is detailed in OS X: Can I use AirDrop with my computer? and OS X Mountain Lion: Share your files with others near you (emphasis mine):

AirDrop is one of the great new features of OS X Lion and later, which provides a really easy way to share files between supported Wi-Fi-enabled Macs without having to connect through the local Wi-Fi network.

To see other people nearby, click the AirDrop icon in the sidebar of a Finder window. The other people must also click the AirDrop icon on their computers.

AirDrop on iOS is detailed in iOS: Using AirDrop (emphasis mine):

AirDrop lets you share photos, videos, websites, locations, and more with other nearby iOS 7 devices.

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OK, I guess it's time to officially give up. I would still love to know the Why though - would allowing cross device transfers cut into sales of some other product? Why would they take the extra time to develop 2 separate and incompatible protocols? –  Peter Nov 24 '13 at 18:33
    
@Peter I think it's more of a limitation for new users - iOS to OS X would be fine as the file would go into ~/Downloads, but OS X to iOS… What do you do with the file? Which sandbox should it go to? How would new users know what to do with a random file disassociated with an iOS app? –  George Garside Nov 24 '13 at 18:35
    
@grgarside Offering an "Open with..." dialog listing appropriate apps shouldn't be too much of a problem. Oh well, something to hope for in a later release. –  patrix Dec 27 '13 at 13:48
    
@Peter Edited answer; it's possible with iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 –  George Garside Jun 3 at 17:51

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