Is Apple bringing drag and drop to the iPhone? It's possible

With just a few tweaks, the currently iPad-only drag-and-drop feature can be enabled for an iPhone running iOS 11.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

Last week, Apple announced iOS 11 for its iOS device lineup. The update includes a long list of features, some of which Apple didn't have time to formally announce during the long keynote.

One feature the company touted as specific to its iPad is the ability to drag and drop links, text, photos, and other content between apps. It's a feature that the iPad has needed for some time.

And, for that matter, the iPhone could arguably also benefit from the ability to drag a picture from one app to another, eliminating the annoying share sheet used across iOS, for example.

It turns out, there's hope Apple could bring the feature to the iPhone. As pointed out by John Gruber, Steve Troughton-Smith, a developer, uncovered that drag and drop for the iPhone is pretty far along in development, and it can be enabled with a few tweaks to preference files in the current iOS 11 beta.

Through a series of tweets, Troughton-Smith demonstrated the potential of drag and drop on the iPhone. As with the iPad implementation, users can drag links into mobile Safari's bookmark or reading list section. Troughton-Smith also demonstrates dragging a picture into an album within the Photos app.

Both Gruber and Troughton-Smith speculate Apple is unsure if the feature will be of use to iPhone users, thus its hidden status. I agree with them both and would love to see Apple enable this feature for all iOS devices.

Drag and drop on the iPad is really well done and only improves upon the overall experience. It's hard to argue the same can't be said about drag and drop on the iPhone.

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