What is Apple NameDrop and how can you use it to share contacts?

Share your contact details just by touching your iPhones together. Here’s how NameDrop works.

namedrop between two iphones


Do your friends always accuse you of namedropping when you bring up that one time you bumped into Morgan Freeman at the airport? Well, namedropping may no longer be such a bad thing, thanks to Apple’s new contact sharing feature.

In iOS 17, two iPhone users can quickly and easily share contact details just by bringing their phones close together. It uses a method similar to Apple’s AirDrop, and whoever came up with the name for the feature deserves some kind of prize. Here’s how to use Apple NameDrop to share contacts.

What is NameDrop?

NameDrop is a new feature in iOS 17 that makes it possible two share contact details between iPhones quickly and easily by simply bringing them close to each other. You no longer have to manually enter someone’s details, and then call them or message them so that they have yours. All you need to do is touch your iPhones together and your contact cards – or Contact Posters if you have set them up – can be instantly shared between devices.

It’s particularly useful if you want to share contact details with a lot of people, as you can add multiple contacts to your iPhone in a matter of seconds.

How does NameDrop work?

Apple’s AirDrop sharing feature works by sending out a Bluetooth signal. If that signal is recognised by another iPhone, it sends a Bluetooth signal back. The two iPhones will then set up a direct Wi-Fi connection over which the contact details can be shared. NameDrop uses a similar technique but uses the NFC sensor in the top of your iPhone to detect the other phone and set up the connection.

How to set up your iPhone to use NameDrop

The NameDrop feature is part of iOS 17, so both iPhones will need to be running that version of iOS if you want to use NameDrop. If you can’t wait until the public release of iOS 17, you can try out NameDrop right now by installing the latest iOS 17 public beta.

As NameDrop uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to make the secure connection, you’ll need to ensure that both Bluetooth and Wireless are enabled on both phones. In addition, since you wouldn’t be sharing contacts with someone who is already in your contact book, you’ll have to set AirDrop discovery to include people outside your contact list.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select AirDrop.
  4. Tap Everyone for 10 Minutes.
  5. Alternatively, open Control Centre by swiping down from the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  6. Tap and hold the tile that contains your Airplane Mode, Mobile Data, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth icons.
  7. Tap the AirDrop icon and select Everyone for 10 Minutes.

Once both iPhones have these settings in place, you’re ready to start using NameDrop.

If both iPhones are set up to use NameDrop as explained above, then using NameDrop is as simple as bringing your iPhones close together.

  1. Bring the tops of your iPhones close together, with the tops of each iPhone either touching or almost touching.
  2. You can also try holding the top of one iPhone slightly over the top of the other in order to get the NFC sensors to recognise each other.
  3. When NameDrop starts to work, you’ll see the top of your screen start to glow.
  4. Keep your iPhones in place, and contact cards will appear on both iPhones.
  5. To share your contact details with the other person, tap Share.
  6. If you only want to receive their details, without sharing your own, tap Receive Only.
  7. The other person’s contact details will appear on your iPhone, including their contact photo or their contact poster if they have one.
  8. Tap Edit to edit any of the details on the contact card before saving it.
  9. Tap Done and the contact card is saved to your iPhone.

If you try bringing your iPhones together again, you’ll no longer see the contact cards appear as you’re already in each other’s contacts. Instead, you’ll see the option to AirDrop files between you.