For a long time, Samsung ads were all about mocking Apple. One of the things that was mocked time and again was Apple’s lack of a close-range wireless sharing feature.

Apple clapped back in 2013 by launching AirDrop on all its devices and changed the way their users shared information. Users could now share large files across the Apple ecosystem without using a USB Drive or a cloud sharing service like Dropbox. AirDrop did not need any scanning or separate pairing process to share items, unlike other file-sharing systems.

What exactly is AirDrop?

AirDrop uses Bluetooth and WiFi to share documents, photos, videos, websites, map locations and more. AirDrop works seamlessly across the entire Apple ecosystem — Macbook, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch, kept within the 30ft vicinity of each other.

To send a file on AirDrop, the sender has to simply select the file and click on AirDrop in the share menu.

A list of available recipients comes up on the sender’s Apple device. As soon as the sender selects a recipient, they receive an AirDrop request.

The Airdrop alert shows you the preview of one single file irrespective of the number of files in the drop with just two options to proceed further: ‘Accept’ to receive the files or ‘Decline’ to not receive them.

A matter of choice

We receive dozens of emails at work daily, the majority of which demand the best of our attention. If tomorrow Gmail presents you with an option to download attachments but not view them before doing so, would you click that download button? Probably not — unless you trust that person blindly (Ha!). Yet the ambiguity surrounding the hidden attachments will likely cast doubt on your mind and prevent you from downloading files you can’t view.

Then why risk the same with an AirDrop? 🤔

Stop Hiding, Start Previewing

AirDrop introduced a new-age way of sharing files that turned out to be highly efficient, fast and secure. But one teeny-weeny problem pops up when you are the one receiving things. There is no way for you to view or verify all the files you receive before accepting them.

For our latest instalment in Sparklin’s monthly series, OTAT, we came up with certain ideas to make sharing on AirDrop even more purposeful.

We’re putting an end to you relying on your gut instincts to accept requests 🙅 Or having blind faith in people you may or may not trust 😉

We included an option in the alert window: Select items.

The Select items option takes you to a preview screen. Think of it as a gallery that shows you thumbnails and sizes of all the files to be transferred. This makes it easy for you to deselect the files you choose not to receive. Convenient, isn’t it? 😌

There you have it. Your two-stop solution for AirDrop. Turns out Apple only needs to make two effortless changes to eliminate this game of hide and seek.

Once these are added, file-sharing on AirDrop can be a safe late night walk in the park for you and everyone else using it🕺

One thing at a time (OTAT)

Think of ‘One thing at a time’ as a bite-sized modification to a platform, to heighten the user experience. We at Sparklin shall sincerely try to share OTAT every month.

There will not be a major change to the platforms but possibly a single or multiple elements that can be introduced, changed, moved or altered, to improve the overall UX.

We keep updating this post with all the OTATs as they go live.

P.S. You might also want to check the UX tips we share every Tuesday.