iOS 15 Lets You Drag and Drop Images and Text Across Apps

Apple this week previewed iOS 15, which is available now in beta for developers ahead of a public release later this year. One smaller but useful new feature added is the ability to drag and drop images, text, files, and more across apps on iPhone.

MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci demonstrated the new feature in a tweet:

Cross-app drag and drop has been available on the iPad since 2017 and Apple has finally extended the feature to the iPhone with iOS 15. Cross-app drag and drop always results in duplication, not movement, of content.

From the iOS 15 features page on Apple's website:

Drag and drop
With support for drag and drop across apps, you can pick up images, documents, and files from one app and drag them into another.

To drag and drop on iOS 15, long press on an image, text, or file and, without lifting that finger, use a second finger to swipe out of the app and open another app. Then, let go of the image, text, or file to drop it into the other app. Long pressing on content makes it appear to rise and adhere to your finger, and as the content is dragged, animations and visual cues identify possible destinations where the content can be dropped.

ios 15 home screen icons

In many apps, you can drag a single item with one finger, and while dragging, select additional items by tapping them with another finger. The selected items move together and appear stacked beneath the finger that's dragging the original item. You can then drag the items as a group and drop them into another app.

The first beta of iOS 15 was seeded to developers earlier this week, and the software update should be released for all compatible iPhones in September.

Related Forum: iOS 15

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Top Rated Comments

contacos Avatar
39 months ago
Anyone else feel like iOS has become super unintuitive with its weird and almost random gestures and stuff by pressing on invisible areas on the screen with different amount of fingers on top or am I just getting old? It can’t be that cuz half the people I know didn’t even know multitasking was a thing on their iPads ?

edit: Cross-app drag and drop has been available on the iPad since 2017

i didn’t know this was a thing either!
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RowellE Avatar
39 months ago
Wouldn’t copy and paste be easier and faster?
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Khedron Avatar
39 months ago

Such a nice and helpful feature.

Thank you again Apple.

We don’t owe Apple just money ? we owe them our loyalty to the brand.
That escalated quickly.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
39 months ago

It would be nice after you paste text the clipboard would clear.
Why? You never paste the same thing multiple times? I sure do.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
velocityg4 Avatar
39 months ago

Anyone else feel like iOS has become super unintuitive with its weird and almost random gestures and stuff by pressing on invisible areas on the screen with different amount of fingers on top or am I just getting old? It can’t be that cuz half the people I know didn’t even know multitasking was a thing on their iPads ?

edit: Cross-app drag and drop has been available on the iPad since 2017

i didn’t know this was a thing!
Definitely, I started with iOS 4 or 5. It was very intuitive. First time I picked it up. It was like I'd been using it all along. All the commands and placement of everything in the UI just made sense.

iOS 7 was when it started to change. With features being hidden and placement being unintuitive.

Now so much seems to require a Google search to learn or poking around through tons of menus. Then much else I don't even know I'm missing out on. Unless I happen to come across it in a post.

A large part of that is feature creep. Everythings more complex. Which makes it harder to make everything intuitive.

A lot also has to do with minimalism or anti-skeumorphism. Making things less apparent. The most aggravating thing is when they move a function or command to another category or menu. For example adding mail accounts to settings has changed locations multiple times. To different headings.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Your Royal Highness Avatar
39 months ago
copy and paste seems much more elegant.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)