New technology always brings new safety concerns and the iPhone NameDrop feature is the latest on the chopping block. Sharing information gets easier every day but police forces are now expressing concern about the capabilities of NameDrop on the iPhone. Announced in June, the feature arrived with the Apple iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 update, simplifying how information can be shared between Apple iPhones and Apple Watches. Multiple posts by police departments across the city have recommended caution against the NameDrop feature being automatically enabled on devices, leading to a spike in Google searches like “What is the NameDrop feature on iPhone?” and “How do I turn off NameDrop on my iPhone?

According to The Washington Post, the Facebook posts have come from police departments in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, and other locations, where warnings regarding the automatically-enabled NameDrop setting have caused quite a stir. Similar to Wired, ABC News, and other outlets, the Post has also confirmed that excessive panic over this iPhone NameDrop feature is unnecessary.

iPhone NameDrop Feature Stirs Up Trouble

Image credit – Apple

What is the iPhone NameDrop Feature?

If you haven’t previously paid attention to the NameDrop feature on iPhones, then you might now be curious about what the feature is and if you should truly be alarmed by the cautionary news reports. Essentially, the iPhone NameDrop feature allows two compatible iPhones that are next to each other to share contact details and other information with each other. 

For those already familiar with Apple’s AirDrop feature, it is a lot easier to understand what the NameDrop feature is on the iPhone. The new feature serves as an upgrade from the AirDrop capabilities, making sharing much quicker without requiring any manual setup or exchange. The feature already exists in Apple devices and as such, should not cause any more panic than AirDrop has all these years. It merely simplifies what iPhones can already do. 

The caution advised by regulatory authorities is good to keep in mind, as the sharing can become too simplistic and children might mistakenly share information that isn’t ideal to pass around, however, the amount of precaution that needs to be taken is just as much as any other technology access that should be allowed for children. Considering that devices need to be right next to each other and both devices have to approve sharing and receiving information, data cannot be stolen or misused any more easily than through existing services and applications. If the devices are moved away from each other or the screen is locked before the transfer is complete, the NameDrop process will stop at once. 

However, if you do not think you want to take a chance and are wondering how to turn off NameDrop on your iPhone, then it is simply enough to disable.

How Do I Turn Off NameDrop on My iPhone?

The NameDrop feature on the iPhone is automatically enabled with the iOS17.1 software update and allows users to share contacts with an iPhone or Apple Watch that is nearby. To turn off NameDrop on your iPhone, you need to follow a few basic steps:

  • Open the Settings page on your iPhone
  • Tap the General category
  • Click on AirDrop
  • Find the “Start Sharing By” section 
  • Tap on “Bringing Devices Together” to turn off the NameDrop feature

Technology can be intimidating and it is always good to have a healthy dose of caution and skepticism in equal amounts when it comes to understanding new features. The iPhone NameDrop tool is designed to simplify a pre-existing process and make iPhone-to-iPhone sharing a much smoother experience. Additional features like the SharePlay session, which allows you to listen to music with someone you know, fall in line with the same goal. 

However, safety does come first and if you have people around you panicking at the news asking “How do I turn off NameDrop on my iPhone?” then use these steps to guide them through the process.