iOS 11 brings drag and drop to iPhone - but it's switched off for now

Drag and drop could be one of the highlights of iOS 11, but while the full feature has only been confirmed for the iPad it looks as though Apple could easily enable it on the iPhone too.

Developer Steven Troughton-Smith has discovered how to do it and even shown a demo of drag and drop working on an iPhone.

The feature, which lets you drag files, images, text and hyperlinks from one app to another, is set to make the iPad Pro far better for productivity than it is currently, but on the iPhone you’ll only be able to drag and drop within a single app.

Blocked for a reason

This makes sense. The iPhone – even the iPhone 7 Plus – has a relatively small screen and doesn’t really have enough space to run apps in split-screen, which could mean true drag and drop would be clunky and something you’re unlikely to want to use all that much.

Still, having features locked off is never fun, and this demo suggests Apple could easily get the feature working on an iPhone if it chose to, so we might yet see it on smaller screens in the future.

We’re not overly optimistic of that – if Apple wanted drag and drop working on iPhone it probably would have enabled it already, but the fact that a developer has already got it working means that even if Apple doesn’t enable the feature there probably will be workarounds if you really want it and are willing to jailbreak your phone.


James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.