Whenever we hit the point where a new version of iOS is in testing, we generally hear about the potential for the OS X AirDrop functionality to make it onto our mobile devices. We all know this has never happened yet, but the latest rumor suggests that Apple are internally testing a build of iOS 7 that contains the AirDrop wireless file-transfer functionality. More details can be found right after the jump.
For those that may not know, AirDrop is a Wi-Fi ad-hoc service that was introduced with OS X Lion and allows users to share files with other supported machines directly from within a dedicated Finder folder. It was only last year with the testing of iOS 6 that it was being reported that AirDrop would be making an appearance to take advantage of the upgraded Wi-Fi hardware found in Apple’s mobile devices. For one reason or another Apple decided to remove it from any beta or public builds of that firmware version, but it seems that the idea of bringing this functionality to the iPhone and iPad hasn’t entirely been ruled out.
It remains to be seen exactly what new features will ship with iOS 7 when it’s eventually announced in a few weeks time at WWDC 2013. We have been hearing murmurings about additional Flickr and Vimeo integration options that would compliment the existing Twitter and Facebook integration, and if that is the case, then it’s likely that the AirDrop features would be accessible via the standard social sharing action sheet that can be found throughout the OS. Information is limited about how extensive any AirDrop inclusion would be, but it could potentially allow for seamless file transfer between iOS devices and OS X machines, something which we terribly want.
Apple has been known to be testing this type of functionality in previous versions of iOS but it never came to fruition, meaning that the potential exists for this to once again be the case. Integrating AirDrop into iOS would definitely go some distance to appease those who who feel Apple’s mobile offering needs this type of sharing ability to compete with Android’s peer-to-peer file sharing options, so we can only hope that it sees the light of day this time round.