Near Field Communication (NFC) is so old. Who wants to deal with bumping their phones against each other? That about sums up the sentiment given by Apple’s mobile development chief Craig Federighi. In fact, his exact statement in regards to the new AirDrop feature in iOS 7 was, “There’s no need to wander around the room, bumping your phone.”
According to Apple’s website, AirDrop will allow users to share photos, videos, contacts, and “anything else from any app with a Share button” with anyone else in the room with the same technology. You don’t have to touch phones. There is no NFC required. AirDrop shares documents using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
We may not know much about how it works, but it does seem like it will make things easier to share than some other NFC features on Android phones. Users don’t have to be standing right next to each other in order to send and receive stuff.
Basically, when you walk into a room, all of your contacts running iOS 7 that are also in the room will be able to share pictures, phone numbers, and more from the new Control Center. You can also make your device visible to others in the room that may not already be in your contacts. So, if you just met someone who took a fantastic picture of you, you can ask the person to AirDrop it to you without having to give out your phone number.
There is no official comparison at this time over ease and usefulness of Android Beam with NFC technology versus Apple’s AirDrop using encrypted Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. However, developers are already using iOS 7 in beta, so it is just a matter of time before someone tests the speed, security, and usability of both.