Improved drag & drop coming to iPhone in iOS 15

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Improved click and drag on iPhone

With drag & drop makes multitasking on the iPhone a lot easier. Since iOS 11 it was already possible to move items within apps and in iOS 15 the possibility to also drag items between apps has been added. You can already try it in the beta of iOS 15, which is currently available for developers to download. Dragging an item does mean that the item is copied. So it will also remain in the old location and you will have to delete it manually if you don't want to keep it in the old location anymore. So there is no question of moving, but of copying to an extra location.

On the iPad, drag & drop possible between apps since 2017. The function is actually more in place there, because you can put two apps next to each other with Split View. That doesn't work on the iPhone, but Apple has found a solution so that you can still drag something:

  1. To drag an item, put your finger on the item a little longer.
  2. While holding this finger on the screen, move another finger to another app.
  3. Once this app is opened, release the item.
  4. You will now see the item appear in the newly opened app.

The feature can also be found on Apple's preview page, where it is described as follows:

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.

MacStories founder Federico Viticci tweets how it works:

Drag & drop for multiple items at once

Putting your finger on the item makes it seem to rise from the ground. And as you drag, animations and other visual cues allow you to move the item. iOS 15 also indicates where you can release the content. In many apps, you can drag a single item with one finger and tap additional items with another finger while dragging. So you can also drag multiple items. Then they form a stack that can be moved to the new location. This works a bit like moving multiple app icons on the home screen.

Do you want to know how drag & drop on iPhone in iOS 11 to iOS 14 works? Read our tip:

In the tip below we discuss drag & drop on the iPad:

More about iOS 15
iOS 15 is the major update for the iPhone and iPod touch. If you want to know whether your iPhone is suitable for iOS 15, you will find the answer in our article. We expect the official iOS 15 release in September/October 2021. Find out what else was announced during the keynote in our WWDC 2021 recap!