iOS 11 Demo Highlights Potential for Drag and Drop on iPad

During this week's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed a collection of iPad-specific abilities coming to iOS 11, including a new customizable dock that can be accessed from within any app, a Files app, a new app switcher, and support for drag and drop.

With the first beta of iOS 11 currently in the hands of developers, a few specific examples of what's possible with the much-anticipated drag and drop feature have been causing excitement online.


The short video above demonstrates a possible use case in Safari in particular. The clip shows how the user can now long-press on a URL address in the Safari search bar and drag it to the right-hand side of the screen to duplicate the Safari window in Split View mode. Another action demonstrations the ability to drag a hyperlink on a web page and drop it on the + icon at the top right of the Safari toolbar to instantly open a new tab showing the linked page.

A similar hyperlink drag is then drawn over to the Bookmarks icon at the top left of the screen, but this time the user holds onto the link and is able to navigate to their Reading List and store the link there for later referral.

Lastly, the same action is performed on a web-hosted file link, dragging it to the right of the screen to open the download link in another Safari window in Split View. With the hosted file selected with one finger, the user then uses the finger of another hand to invoke the new iPad dock with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Continuing with multitouch, he then drags the File app icon up to the right to open the last-viewed Documents sub-folder, and simply drops the selected file into it with his other finger.

Developers are still experimenting with the potential of drag and drop on iPad, but it's safe to assume that with support for multi-select and spring-loading, the possibilities for various workflows are far-reaching. For instance, another developer has discovered that it is possible to drag up to four different stacks of objects from various apps using four fingers on one hand in order to drop them all into a single Notes sheet.

Drag and drop on iPhone appears to be limited at this stage in iOS 11 in developer beta testing, with the majority of related features restricted to iPad, but it's possible that some aspects could come across to the smaller screen if Apple feels they're practicable.

The public beta of iOS 11 is expected to be released later this month, with the final version coming in the fall.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
41 months ago
If it works as well as text selection and copy and paste, forget about it. Still baffled that its near impossible sometimes to properly select text on iOS and Safari, its either one word, or the whole f*cking page of text and you can't adjust it, yet same website on Chrome on Android text selection works properly.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
41 months ago
I might struggle with this new way of doing things, but I've watched kids 12 and under use iPads and drag and drop on game interfaces in various gaming systems. They move their fingers around the user interface at speeds my eye and brain can't follow and have skills I probably can't develop at this stage of my life. My 12 year old seemed to find this part of the keynote interesting. In this case, Apple might be addressing the future better than those of us who grew up on mice and joysticks can appreciate.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
41 months ago
Finally iPad is getting features it Needed form long time.Now it's lot more than a big iPhone
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
41 months ago

I might struggle with this new way of doing things, but I've watched kids 12 and under use iPads and drag and drop on game interfaces in various gaming systems. They move their fingers around the user interface at speeds my eye and brain can't follow and have skills I probably can't develop at this stage of my life. My 12 year old seemed to find this part of the keynote interesting. In this case, Apple might be addressing the future better than those of us who grew up on mice and joysticks can appreciate.

Exactly! So appreciate your honesty. So many of the complainers on here apparently have "old-fart" mindsets -- they've forgotten what it's like to be young, inquisitive and open to new things. Being over 50, I nonetheless LOVE the new iOS 11 interface, and am so excited about the "future of computing" it portends!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
41 months ago
just from safari,the whole video, thats impressive
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
41 months ago
I like the iPad precisely because it's on rails, so relaxing for what I use it for.

But this is a tremendous feature for a generation that feels more at home with multitouch rather than a single mouse pointer.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Camera Lens Supplier Experiencing Quality Issues, But May Not Affect Launch Schedule

Thursday August 6, 2020 9:30 pm PDT by
One of Apple's camera lens suppliers for the upcoming non-Pro iPhone 12 models is having quality issues, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. The issues are, however, unlikely to have an impact on Apple's shipping schedule, presuming that Apple's other main supplier can make up the difference. Kuo says that Genius Electronic Optical has discovered...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Headphones Now Available for $350

Friday August 7, 2020 2:01 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000MX3 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and this week Sony released its fourth-generation WH-1000XM4 headphones boasting some notable improvements on the previous model. The XM4s feature the same basic design as the XM3s, but are one gram lighter at 254 grams due to slightly larger ear pads and some subtle tweaks to the...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...