Sharing photos is a popular pastime for teens with smartphones, and there's no shortage of services to cater to them — Snapchat and Instagram remain popular options. But there's another way to share photos and other files that may be picking up steam, especially among young people with iPhones: AirDrop.
AirDrop, built right into iOS, enables iPhone users to exchange files with one another without relying on a separate app or third-party service. The advantage over services like Instagram and Snapchat is that you don't have to have usernames or set up specific accounts to use it.
Maya Kosoff went home for the holidays and discovered that her teenage relatives are using AirDrop instead of other services for its ease of use and simplicity:
She also said that this is what makes AirDrop better than texting: you don't need anybody's phone number. As long as you have AirDrop enabled on your phone, anyone nearby can send you a file. Plus, she told me some schools have blocked Snapchat, so AirDrop is essentially a workaround.
AirDrop is a feature unique to iPhones and Macs, so it doesn't work for everyone — even in my own immediate family, only one of my three teens has an iPhone (the other two use Windows phones). But in environments where lots of people use iOS devices, AirDrop makes an appealing alternative to potentially insecure third-party services.