How to Save Time By Using Drag and Drop on iPad and iPhone

Over time, Apple’s iPad has picked up a lot of features from Mac. One of those is drag and drop. The tool makes it much easier to copy or move items or text from one location to another. Beginning with iOS 15, similar features are coming to iPhone.

What is Drag and Drop on iPad?

Using drag and drop on your mobile device, you can use a finger to move text and other items within the same app. You can also use the tool to copy items from one app to another. For example, you can move an image from the Photos app and drag it into an email.

Moving Items

To use drag and drop on iPad and move items:

  1. First, touch and hold the item until it lifts. For text, select it.
  2. Next, drag the item or text to another location within the app.

drag and drop on iPad

Copying Items Between Apps

With two apps open, you can use Split View or Slide Over and copy items. In this case, you once again touch and hold the item until it lifts, dragging it to the other app.

To drag a link using Split View or Slide Over, touch and hold the link until it lifts, then either.

Touch and hold the link until it lifts, then do one of the following:

  • Replace a Split View or Slide Over window with the link’s destination: Drag the link to the window.
  • Open the link’s destination in a Split View or Slide Over window: When there is no Split View or Slide Over window showing, drag the link to the left or right edge of the screen to open the destination in Split View, or drag the link close to the edge to open in Slide Over.

To copy an item to an app on the iPad Home screen or in the Dock:

  1. Once again, touch and hold the item until it lifts.
  2. While still holding the item, using another finger to swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen and either pause to reveal the Dock or press the Home button, when applicable.
  3. Drag the item over the other app to open it.

Moving Multiple Items

You can also move various items at the same time.

  1. Touch and hold the first item, then drag it slightly while continuing to hold it.
  2. Continue holding the first item, then tap another item with a second finger. A badge identifies the number of selected items.
  3. Drag all the items together.

Drag and Drop: iPhone

In iOS 15, Apple has added the ability to drag and drop text, images, and other items across different apps on iPhone. The feature has been an important part of the iPad since 2017 but wasn’t brought to Apple’s top-selling product until now.

To use drag and drop on iPhone with iOS 15 or later installed:

  1. Long-press on an item, such as an image, text, or file.
  2. While still holding the item, use another finger to open another app.
  3. Let go of the item, dropping it into the second app.

Look familiar, no?

Drag and drop is a great tool, and it’s nice to know it’s alive and well on iPad and iPhone. It makes it much easier to bring content from one location or another on mobile.

Are you looking for more iPad tools? Consider some of our other posts, including how to use external drives on iPad Pro, how to recover deleted photos and videos on iPhone and iPad, how to remote control Apple TV from your iPhone or iPad.

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