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AirDrop Works Only on Certain Macs

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion’s new AirDrop feature lets you copy files between two Macs without requiring an active Wi-Fi network, or that both machines be on the same network. It’s quick, secure, and nifty — but only if both people have sufficiently new Macs. During Lion beta testing, it was clear that some Lion-capable Macs couldn’t summon the right mojo to use AirDrop, which requires relatively recent Wi-Fi chips.

Apple’s Tech Specs page for Lion provides the first full accounting of which machines have AirDrop enabled. Here’s the rundown, although you can click over there, too:

  • MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 or newer)
  • iMac (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or mid-2010)

The other way to know whether AirDrop works? If it appears as an option in a Finder window’s sidebar under the Favorites list.

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