In this article, we will explain how NameDrop works and how to use it. Instructions apply to devices running iOS 17 or later and Apple Watch Series 6 or newer.
How to Use iPhone NameDrop
NameDrop isn’t a separate app, it’s a feature built into iOS 17 and newer. Just hold your iPhone close to the other person’s, or tap them together, and you can wirelessly share contact info in seconds.
Here’s how it works:
1. Enable AirDrop by going to Settings> General > AirDrop > Everyone for 10 Minutes.
Tip: You can also do this by going to Control Center> long press the networking controls in the top left > AirDrop > Everyone for 10 Minutes.
2. Bring the top of your iPhone very close to the top of the other person’s iPhone. You can even tap them lightly against each other. You’ll know they’ve connected when you see a glowing animation pulse down from the top of the screens.
Note: Both the sender and receiver have to have AirDrop turned on.
3. Your Contact Poster appears on your phone screen.
4. You have two options: Receive Only or Share. Click on Receive Only to get the other person’s contact info without sending them yours. Tap Share to both get their contact details and send them yours.
5. Your Contacts app opens and is pre-populated with their contact details. Tap Edit to make changes and/or tap Done to save their information
You can also use NameDrop to share contact details between an iPhone and Apple Watch using the same steps.
How iPhone NameDrop Works and How It’s Related to AirDrop
NameDrop is essentially AirDrop Apple’s long-established wireless file-sharing technology customized specifically for quick and easy contact sharing. Because of that, AirDrop and NameDrop work the same way: they use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to detect nearby Apple devices and, depending on their settings, allow the swapping of files from compatible apps.
NameDrop adds new technology to the mix: NFC. Near-Field Communication, or NFC, is a wireless data technology that powers tap-to-pay credit and debit cards. NFC chips have been included on the iPhone since 2018’s iPhone XR (perhaps not coincidentally, the XR is the oldest iPhone compatible with iOS 17).
As mentioned above, tapping iPhones together is one way to trigger the NameDrop connection. That uses NFC. The NFC chip in the Apple Watch is also the basis sharing with NameDrop between iPhones and Apple Watches running watchOS 10 and up.