The (3) best ways to share information from your iPad

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With iOS 8, Apple expanded the iPad’s ability to share information in many different ways.  This has long been a frequently requested feature that was already available on various other mobile platforms in one form or another.  Sharing information and data, in any form, can be a very useful tool for all iPad owners.  I want to discuss three of the best ways iPad users can share information, and the processes they can use to make this possible.

How to Share from within Apps

After the release of iOS 8, app developers were given the tools to share information from within their apps.  In apps that have this feature built in you can choose to share your information.  The method in which you share your info will vary from app to app.  Those apps with the ability to share will use share extensions to utilize this functionality.


To start a sharing session in an app, look for a symbol that looks like a square with an arrow coming out of the top the action button.  When you tap this symbol you will be presented with two rows of icons representing your available options.  You can also choose which sharing methods you prefer to see, and arrange them in the order you like best by dragging them up or down the list.  Generally, I set mine up to reflect my most common sharing uses on the far left since they will always be visible without having to scroll through a larger list. To add more compatible sharing options tap the “more” button and select the option you would like to make available.


How to Share over AirDrop

In addition to sharing with an iPhone or another iPad, in iOS 8 you can now share between your iPad and a compatible Mac for the first time.  AirDrop allows you to share photos, videos, websites, locations, and other items wirelessly with other devices over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.  It is important to note, however, that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be turned on to use AirDrop.  In addition,  you need to be signed in to iCloud using your Apple ID.


To start a sharing session over AirDrop tap the same sharing symbol– the square with the arrow coming out of the top, and then choose the name of the other AirDrop user whom you would like to share your information with.  You may also receive AirDrops from other users in close proximity.  For others to be able to AirDrop with you, you need to open Control Center on your iPad by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and choose whether you would like to be seen by everyone, or just by those who are in your contacts list.  Either way, you can make decisions on independent requests one at a time.  It is also important to note–AirDrop only works on the iPad 4 model and newer due to the the fact that on the iPad 3, the dual band/dual stream capability is not fast enough to support the function.

How to Share via Family Sharing

If you are not already familiar with the term Family Sharing, it is a concept where up to 6 different family members can share all of their purchases made from the App Store, iTunes and the iBook Store.  In addition, family members can also have a shared calendar that any member can edit in addition to a folder that collects all of the “Family” photos in one place.  All this is possible even if everyone already has their own separate accounts.


An organizer acts as the gate-keeper for this information–including the payment method that is shared by all users for future purchases.  Kids in the Family plan that are under the age of 13 can also have their own accounts, but they need to be set-up by the organizer who can also act as a medium to regulate all purchases made by minors.Family-SharingFor a more in-depth view of Family Sharing, how to set it up, and how your family can benefit from this service, check out some of our in-depth posts here, here and here.

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