osx - How to Airdrop between Mac and iPhone?

  • Peter

    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.

  • Answers
  • grgarside

    This is currently 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.

  • Related Question

    osx - How to use AppleTalk to transfer files between iPhone and Mac wirelessly?
  • Questioner

    I've used scp and ftp to get files in and out of my iPhone. But they are kinda awkward and un-Mac. I was thinking whether it's possible to share out my iPhone using maybe something like AppleTalk, like how I share files with other Macs. Any ideas? Has anybody tried it before. Thanks.

  • Related Answers
  • 8088

    You cant' do this out of the box without jailbreaking your iPhone an intalling Cydia.

    But since you can already use scp, I assume your iPhone must already be jailbroken. ;-)

    Alright, if you’re using Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard), life is easy: the connection between your iPhone and Mac is seamless.

    Lauch Cydia and install the Netatalk package, which is actually an open source impementation of AppleTalk.

    Tap Sections. The Netatalk package should be under the Network section. Install it.


    Once you have installed Netatalk, connecting to your iPhone is a breeze:

    1. Make sure your iPhone has Wifi is turned on.
    2. Your iPhone should show up in the Finder as shared device.
    3. Next, click Connect As button to logon as another user. You'll be ased to enter the username/password.
    4. Type root or mobile for name and alpine for password. Then click “Connect”.

    Now your iPhone is connected with your Mac. You should see a “mobile” folder and you can drag & drop files into the iPhone. This is great for Cycorder users.

  • Henri Watson

    Keep using SSH, especially if you use RSA/DSA keys to login and not passwords.
    If you want it to integrate with the Finder then use a program like ExpanDrive.
    It should show up like a regular volume, and you should be able to use it in every app.

  • jtbandes

    Check out this tutorial (with screenshots) about setting up AFP.

  • housemaister

    If you just want to use the iPhone as a Data Storage (and viewer for native known file formats like pdf, doc etc.) you could use sth. like AirSharing (http://avatron.com/apps/). I think you can find a bunch of similar Apps, too. AirSharing uses the WebDav protocol for file exchange.

    I don't think AppleTalk is more Mac-like or has any advantage over most other protocols in this use case.