It's not often I get to the level of irritation that can be heard from the Breakfast Flakes on Cat Country... but in the last few days, I have certainly hit my breaking point.

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Fearful Regurgitation

Over the last few days, police departments in quite a few states across the US have been gleefully sharing what I would describe as a "90's clickbait chain letter" on their social media pages, warning the public about Apple's new iOS 17 sharing feature called "NameDrop".

Now, first of all, one of those police departments is our very own Billings Police Department, which we work with hand in hand to bring the latest in news from our city to you... but, this one, is not going to be glorious.

It is vividly clear that our own BPD, along with many other PDs across the US, simply copied/pasted this, in an effort to "protect the public" without doing a shred of research.

Let's Learn Together, Shall We?

Ok, class is in session. Take the gum out of your mouth and throw it away in the waste basket by my desk... and let's begin.

  1. It's called "NameDrop". Not "bringing devices together".
    1. Yes, I understand the setting is labeled this under Airdrop. However, Apple made one big hubbub about it a few months ago when it was announced at WWDC... and if you missed it, you might consider reading up on your fancy device every now and again.
  2. Yes, NameDrop is enabled by default in iOS 17.1.
    1. No, it is not the same as Airdrop, which allows you to beam files to another Apple device that is in your contact list (or any device, if you choose that option, for a 10-minute window... that also has this option turned on.)
    2. It is designed to send contact information, that you select, between two devices instantly. But, you can also send files.
  3. No, your information is not "shared by just holding your phone close to another iPhone.
    1. You have to select what information you want to send on the screen, and then send it. If you don't... nothing is sent. And, you have to be within less than an INCH from the other phone.

As I realize some of us are visual learners, here is the official Apple How-To on using NameDrop.

Can We Stop With The Fearmongering, And Focus On The Crime?

As someone who is writing weekly on issues in the city... I think this should be off the radar of the PD. But, what do I know? Though, if you insist on sharing false information... you might want to take a look at the Tips App on an iPhone... it teaches you to use it. Just like a user manual did in the 80's.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you think we should be sharing fake news and scaring the public? What other hoopla have you seen on social media? Let us know on App Chat or on Facebook.

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