Having now been out for a week and a half the issues with OS X Lion are now on the increase. We already know of the external bug and overheating problems, but we have now learned that there are also troubles with AirDrop as well. If you have a modern Mac then you are fine, but if you have an older model then you will run into support issues.
As far as we can remember when Apple announced this new feature we were not told that it would only work on the new Macs. This is a little upsetting for those who are not lucky enough or do not feel the need to spend a huge amount of money on upgrading their machine. A rule of thumb states that AirDrop will not work on any models older than 2008, but in some cases you will need a 2009/2010 model.
Thankfully AppleInsider has done some digging around and has found what Macs are supported. If you have a MacBook Pro, then you will need one that was made in late 2008. For those with the 17-inch model will need the one made in the first part of 2009.
The MacBook Air is a different story, these are only supported after the 2010 redesign, when they introduced the new 11-inch and 13-inch models with that teardrop design — and I have been trying for days to discover why it would not work. The 13-inch aluminum MacBook and white MacBook are only supported for late 2008 and early 2009 models respectively. Mac Mini is mid 2010, Mac Pro early 2009 and finally the iMac is from early 2009. We do hope that this will now stop you wondering why AirDrop does not show up in Finder?
The reason for the lack of support is due to not having the required Wi-Fi hardware features, which is needed to locate other machines within range. This is very annoying for some, as Apple made it sound like AirDrop was going to be this amazing new feature, but they left out the tiny little detail of supported devices. So now I have an older Air that is unable to talk to my 2011 iMac, and vice versa.
All is not lost though, as there are still a number of ways to share and transfer files, such as Bluetooth or using the same IP, which is what I am currently using. Failing that you will have to use the good old memory stick, its slower but very reliable.