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Apple airdrop intermittent failure

Posted on 2014-11-21
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Last Modified: 2014-11-22
Hi, attempting to send photos from an iphone to an ipad results in sporadic success with no obvious reproducible pattern. Failure takes the form of either a message, or no response, or invisible target device. What kind of technology is behind this? Some kind of asynchronous service? If this were windows etc i would expect to have to get my hands dirty with tech details, but this isn.t. It makes me wonder if apple isn.t just a load of sh*t now.
Opinions valued.
Thanks
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Question by:xenium
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by:davidanders
ID: 40459097
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by:xenium
ID: 40459815
I'm  interested to know why the issue could be sporadic. If it doesn't work i can accept an error message, ideally with a code or some explanation, but a generic failure statement followed or preceeded by success on other attempts makes no sense. I'm puzzled more than annoyed.
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by:xenium
ID: 40459817
The wider answer maybe systems are becoming complex in the mathematical sense, but i.d like an idea on a specific cause here.
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by:Eoin OSullivan
Eoin OSullivan earned 100 total points
ID: 40459868
How stable and strong is the WiFi signal that both devices are connected to? As AirDrop is conducted over WiFi .. can you establish if the 2 devices are side-by-side and if the wifi reception at that location is solid?  What WiFi speed and encryption are you using?
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davidanders earned 400 total points
ID: 40459987
http://macs.about.com/od/LionTipsNtricks/qt/Airdrop-With-Or-Without-A-Wireless-Connection.htm
How AirDrop Works
AirDrop uses Apple's Bonjour technology to listen in on a wireless connection for another Mac to announce AirDrop capabilities. It seems AirDrop will announce itself over any available network connection, but when AirDrop listens, it only pays attention to Wi-Fi connections, even if AirDrop announcements are present on other network interfaces.
Given that three wi-fi devices are needed to make the connection, the chances of interference is greater.
If there are local devices that use the same wi-fi channel as your router, and those devices have a stronger signal than your three devices, it may account for the sporadic nature of the failure.
You can view the local wi-fi devices and the channel they use by (in OSX)

1) Find the Wireless Diagnostics Utility by either performing a Spotlight search for “Wireless Diagnostics”, or, hold down the Option key and click on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. Open Wireless Diagnostics is at the bottom.
2) When you’ve got the Wireless Diagnostics window open. Under Window Menu, go to the Utilities option.
3) Once Utilities window is open, click Wi-Fi Scan tab, click Scan Now (bottom right of the window) and view current wireless channels used.  Channel 1, 6, and 11 are non overlapping channels.
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by:xenium
ID: 40460033
I wasn.t aware a 3rd party wireless connection is required but this could have explained it as it was weak.  Still it seems like a poor implementation, surely this could be diagnosed automatically and given appropriate treatment or warning.
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by:xenium
ID: 40460034
Thanks for your feedback, useful info.
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