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I have a mid-2012 MacBook pro running Yosemite and an iPad Air 2 with the latest iOS 8. The 2 devices can connect via Bluetooth (at least they claim to be connected), however, neither initially showed up in the others AirDrop widget.

Both BT and WiFi are turned on, AirDrop is enabled (set to Everyone), but the Finder window stayed blank. I rebooted and reconnected the devices which did not help.

Funnily, I can send a file to the iPad via the Share context menu, and after selecting the iPad it suddenly showed up in AirDrop, but the other direction does not work.

How can I diagnose what the problem might be?

  • You could perhaps pastebin some logs with console located in Applications/Utilities and include paste link. Would help greatly – TheBro21 Apr 23 '15 at 9:35
  • This might not be the issue, but connecting them via Bluetooth is not necessary for (and might hinder) using AirDrop. – tubedogg Apr 23 '15 at 22:03
  • I was under the impression, bluetooth is required, as stated by Apple. support.apple.com/en-us/HT204144 – oarfish Apr 24 '15 at 7:08
  • @TheBro21 I could paste logs from the Mac, but right now, the iPad shows up in AirDrop readily enough, the problem is that the iPad does not see the MacBook although it's set to be discoverable by everyone. – oarfish Apr 24 '15 at 9:09
  • I found this that might help you: discussions.apple.com/thread/5878585. similar to your problem – TheBro21 Apr 24 '15 at 9:13
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I unfortunately have no solution to offer you, but I need to point out that the answer by TheBro21 is actually incorrect. AirDrop should work between Macs and iOS devices provided that:

  • The iOS device supports AirDrop and runs iOS 8 or later
  • The Mac was made in 2012 or later and runs OS X Yosemite

Since both requirements are fulfilled in your case, it should work. I does for me. If it doesn't, I'd keep looking or take it up with Apple (since your iPad Air is still under warranty, I'm sure they'd help you out).

Source: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH18947

  • Yes it should indeed, but for many people it doesn't, which lets me conclude that it is at least very buggy. – oarfish Apr 24 '15 at 13:54
  • I fully agree with that. It is indeed quite buggy (in my case, I tracked it down to an iCloud authentication error - logging out and back in fixed it for me). However, I thought it was important to point out that it is supported, in case somebody else found this thread and thought it wasn't. – dlemaymt Apr 24 '15 at 15:38
  • @dlemaymt Thank you for this post! You're correct about TheBro21's answer. I've edited it to make it clear what Macs/devices it actually applies to. – tubedogg Apr 30 '15 at 11:29
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I would upgrade to El Capitan since the Wireless Diagnostic there has some awesome tools to debug AirDrop status in real time.

Open Wireless Diagnostic and press Command + 7 (or choose Monitor from the Window menu and then close the other window that popped up when you start Wireless Diagnostic)

enter image description here

You can see the channel for AWDL and idle/low power/data status of the link as well as capture a diagnostic file for Applecare support if you can't solve this issue with this tool.

Things to try:

  1. reset network settings on iOS
  2. turn off and then on bluetooth on both devices
  3. turn off all wifi routers near by (or go in a basement or in the middle of a field outside or other protected space with no likely interference)

I have some other ideas in this thread:

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The below information only applies to Macs made before 2012, or those not upgraded to Yosemite, and iOS devices that have not been upgraded to iOS 8, or which do not contain a Lightning connector.


This could help you. I did include it into a comment as well. I found the following on this thread:

Airdrop between iOS and OS X might not work but create a shared photo stream on iCloud and both devices will see the content.

and

  • Airdrop iOS works only with iOS devices

  • Airdrop OSX works only with OSX

here is also a thread that could help you

UPDATE: Dont use airdrop or bluetooth because their is no support yet. Instead make an ad-hoc network. This could help

Quote from Answer on the question linked above

You could connect together using WiFi rather than Bluetooth by creating an ad-hoc network on you MacBook Pro

http://www.tuaw.com/2009/09/25/mac-101-create-a-wireless-network-between-mac-and-iphone/

Then use an app like Feem to transfer the files

http://www.tryfeem.com

I agree that Bluetooth solution should be available.

  • Well at least the problem is not exclusive to me. But the fixes outlined there don't do anything for me. Funnily enough, I can even connect both Devices via Bluetooth, i.e. the iPad does see the Laptop, but no AirDrop. It appears the direction iOS -> OS X has simply not been implemented properly. – oarfish Apr 24 '15 at 9:33
  • If bluetooth does work, you could use that. Or as I do it in the old fashioned way, send it to myself on email :DD – TheBro21 Apr 24 '15 at 9:37
  • I would, however, there is no 'Send File to device' option like for other kinds of devices, and there is no such thing at all from the iPad. – oarfish Apr 24 '15 at 9:40
  • Edited the question and included a link that could help you with file transfer. still researching for info if this does not help. – TheBro21 Apr 24 '15 at 9:51
  • Got a conclusion: Bluetooth or Airdrop doesn't work across osx and ios. Instead use feem and ad-hoc – TheBro21 Apr 24 '15 at 9:59

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