What is iOS 18 Contacts Feature

Apple’s latest iOS 18 Contacts Feature update brings an exciting new way to quickly share contact information between iPhones called NameDrop. This handy feature allows you to seamlessly exchange contacts with people around you using device-to-device communication. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at how NameDrop works and the capabilities it brings to simplify contact sharing on iPhones.

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What is NameDrop?

NameDrop is a new iOS feature that enables iPhone users to swiftly share contact information like phone numbers, email addresses, and other details through device proximity.

Here’s how it works:

When two people want to exchange contacts, they simply move their iPhones close together. This triggers a vibration and prompt on both devices to initiate NameDrop contact sharing.

If both users accept, their contact cards get seamlessly transferred to each other’s address book. It all happens in just a few seconds without needing to type out any information manually.

According to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, NameDrop uses technology similar to Apple’s AirDrop file sharing service. It relies on Bluetooth LE, NFC, and other protocols to detect nearby devices and enable quick contact sharing.

Key Advantages of NameDrop

NameDrop brings several useful improvements to exchanging contact information between iPhone users:

How to Quick and Easy Contact Sharing

In the past, sharing contacts required manually typing in phone numbers and email addresses or exporting vCard files. NameDrop streamlines this into a fast one-step process to get the same information transmitted instantly between iPhones.

How to Works Between Apple Devices

NameDrop allows contact sharing directly between iPhones, as well as between an iPhone and an Apple Watch. As long as both devices are running iOS 18 or watchOS 9, NameDrop enables seamless cross-device contact transfers.

How to Secure Encrypted Connection

NameDrop uses end-to-end encryption when transferring contacts over the air. This ensures any contact information shared via NameDrop stays private and secure.

Minimal Effort Required

Sharing contacts through NameDrop requires minimal effort. Users only need to move their iPhone near another device and accept the prompt. There’s no need for manually typing in data, exporting/importing files, or other convoluted steps.

How to Additional Context Before Sharing

The NameDrop prompt provides additional context upfront about the contact you’re receiving before you accept it. This includes the sender’s name, company, job title, and other relevant details to help identify them.

How to Share Select Info

Users can customize exactly which contact data gets shared through NameDrop. You can choose to only share your phone number or email address and exclude other information for more privacy.

How NameDrop Contact Sharing Works

NameDrop takes advantage of several iOS technologies to enable straightforward contact sharing between nearby iPhones and Apple Watches. Here is an overview of how the NameDrop process works:

1. Initiate Device Pairing

  • To start, bring two compatible Apple devices near each other. This allows the devices to detect each other’s presence via Bluetooth LE.
  • Next, both devices will vibrate slightly to signal they are in close enough proximity to connect.

2. User Prompt to Share Contacts

  • A prompt will display on both screens indicating a nearby device wants to share contacts via NameDrop.
  • The prompt shows useful context like the sender’s name and company from their contact card to identify them.
  • Users on both devices must accept the NameDrop prompt before any information gets exchanged.

3. Secure Transfer of Contact Cards

  • After mutually accepting the NameDrop prompt, the encrypted contact cards get securely exchanged over the device-to-device connection.
  • By default, NameDrop shares essential contact card details like phone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, and photos (if available).
  • Users can limit shared fields to only specific details like phone or email if desired for privacy.

4. Contacts Saved on Devices

  • Once the contact information is transmitted, the devices automatically save the new contacts into each user’s address book app.
  • The process usually completes in just seconds with no other steps required.
  • Users can then access the new contacts like any others on their device.

How to Customizing NameDrop to Fit Your Needs

The NameDrop experience can be customized based on your preferences and security requirements:

Select Fields to Share

When initiating a NameDrop, you can choose exactly which contact fields get shared with the other user. For example, you may want to only share your phone number and not personal address.

Set Default Contact Sharing

In iOS settings, you can configure which contact fields Share by default when using NameDrop. Adjust based on your privacy preferences.

Require Manual Authorization

An option exists to disable automatic NameDrop contact sharing. This forces manual approval of each NameDrop request for increased security.

Customize Prompt Context

Users can add or remove info like company, job title, and phone number that provides context in the NameDrop prompt.

Disable NameDrop Entirely

If desired, NameDrop can be disabled completely in iOS settings. Toggle it off if you do not wish to use the contact sharing feature.

NameDrop Security Considerations

While NameDrop simplifies contact sharing, security experts recommend understanding the feature’s privacy implications:

  • NameDrop requires bringing devices in close proximity, so it’s best suited for people you know and trust. Be cautious using it with strangers.
  • There is a small window where devices are detectable before users accept the prompt. Nearby bad actors could potentially exploit this.
  • Users should review exactly which contact details will be shared and customize if needed before accepting NameDrop requests.
  • Be aware that NameDrop may automatically trigger and share your information when near another device. Disable NameDrop or require manual approval in settings for more control.
  • As with most smartphone connections, there is some minimal risk of brute force attacks intercepting the device-to-device NameDrop communications.

Overall, Apple claims NameDrop uses industry-standard encryption and security protocols to keep contacts private. But users should understand how the feature works to ensure they only share data intentionally and disable NameDrop if concerned.

How to Turn Off NameDrop Contact Sharing

If you wish to disable the NameDrop contact sharing feature entirely on your iPhone, follow these steps:

Step#1.Open the Settings app.

Step#2.Scroll down and tap on General.

Step#3.Next choose AirDrop.

Step#4.Under the “Sharing Your Digital Info” section, find the toggle for Bringing Devices Together.

Step#5.Switch the toggle to the OFF position to disable NameDrop contact sharing.

Once disabled here, your device will no longer initiate or receive NameDrop contact sharing requests. You can always re-enable it in the same section of Settings if wanted later on.

Other iOS 18 Contacts Features

Beyond NameDrop, iOS 18 brings other useful improvements to the Contacts app:

Contact Posters

Design stylish digital posters representing yourself or your company. Share these instantly when connecting with new people via Phone, FaceTime or Messages.

Memojis in Contacts

Assign Memojis you’ve customized to display in contacts. This livens up your address book with fun animated icons.

Monogram Creator

Generate stylish monograms using your initials to personalize contact posters or just share directly with others.

Shared Family Contacts

Families can now share certain contact profiles between household members. This simplifies keeping a central family address book.

Improved Groups

More options to organize contacts into custom Groups. Groups can also be shared securely with select contacts for collaborative purposes.

Together with NameDrop, these new features further enhanceContacts as a central hub for managing all your personal connections on iPhone and keeping in touch.

The Bottom Line on iOS 18’s NameDrop

NameDrop delivers an impressively fast and smooth way for iPhone users to exchange contact information. It removes the friction of manually entering data, syncing devices, exporting files, and other cumbersome contact sharing methods.

While the convenience is fantastic, it’s wise to understand the feature’s security considerations and customize settings based on your comfort level. Find the right balance for your needs.

Overall, NameDrop showcases Apple’s focus on using technology like encrypted device-to-device communication and proximity detection to build intuitive experiences. It highlights an expertise in hardware-software integration.

As contact sharing becomes streamlined across Apple products, we can expect more clever uses of this technology both for consumer functions like NameDrop and professional applications. Contact sharing is just starting to get really interesting.

Key Takeaways on NameDrop in iOS 18

  • NameDrop enables seamless contact sharing by placing two nearby iPhones close together
  • After accepting prompts, encrypted contact details transfer instantly over device-to-device connection
  • Customize NameDrop to only share certain contact fields for more privacy
  • Understand security considerations before using NameDrop with strangers
  • Other iOS 18 Contacts improvements include Contact Posters, Memojis, Groups, and more
  • NameDrop provides both convenience and some risks – find the right balance for your needs

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