By default, AirDrop will only make you visible to contacts; however, in past firmware versions, users could manually select to be visible to 'Everyone'. This feature had been used by protestors in China to share files and get around government censors.
With the release of iOS 16.1.1, Apple limited the 'Everyone' setting for AirDrop to ten minutes in China. After ten minutes, AirDrop would revert back to the 'Contacts Only' setting. Despite upsetting some users, it appears Apple has decided to make this change for all users with the launch of iOS 16.2.
You can learn more about the new features in iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 here:
● iOS 16.2 Release Notes
● iPadOS 16.2 Release Notes
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