I’m a beta user of iOS, have been for many years and I use the betas on my daily drivers (iphone, ipad, macbook pro, apple watch, apple tv) and I use new features on iOS far before they come out to the general public. The one feature that is getting a lot of attention right now is NameDrop.

What is NameDrop?

With iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1, you can use NameDrop to quickly share contact information with a nearby iPhone or Apple Watch. NameDrop works by bringing two iPhones or Apple Watches close to one another and then the phones recognize one another and prompt you to share your contact info with the other device. You’ll get theirs and they get yours.

What people are getting wrong

People are stating that you can steal someones contact info by just putting your phone next to theirs and it just steals the info without your knowledge. This is not true and the Apple docs even explain how this isn’t true.

Apple Directions on how to use it

Share from iPhone to iPhone or Apple Watch: Hold the display of your iPhone a few centimeters from the top of the other person’s iPhone or Apple Watch. Share from Apple Watch to another Apple Watch: Open the Contacts app on your Apple Watch, tap your picture in the top-right corner, tap Share, then bring your watch close to the other person’s Apple Watch.

Apple Watch? Unless you have a new Apple Watch this doesnt work on it. NameDrop is available on Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch Series 7 and later, and Apple Watch SE (2nd generation).

What’s the fuss about?

There is a lot of posts online about this feature being used to steal your contact info without you knowing. Here are what the headlines on Nov 27th 2023 were showing when I searched for NameDrop on Google

Top stories Police warn parents of new iPhone feature Detroit Free Press Oakland County Sheriff's Office issues warning about Apple iPhone system update. WIRED - No, You Don't Need to Turn Off Apple's NameDrop Feature in iOS 17.

What are people saying?

Lots of TikToks about it being “bad” Momofrubies Grey | Petty /Astrology/Witch

And people in the know sharing that this feature requires the user to accept the contact exchange. Chris Carley

And creators sharing how the feature actually works CNet

How I feel about it

This feature isn’t bad just like most technology this feature is misunderstood. Back in the day an app called “Bump” did something like this.

What was Bump? Bump was an app released by Bump Technologies in 2009 that allowed users to share data between their smartphones. They could transfer photos and contact cards by bumping their phones at each other. It was available on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play, and its technology was used briefly for PayPal money transfers on iPhone.