How to use drag and drop on iPhone

Source: Bryan M. Wolfe / ComoHow

Apple’s drag-and-drop tool for mobile devices has always had more features on the iPad than on the iPhone due to the former’s larger screen. That changed with iOS 15, however, as Apple’s best-selling phone now offers the ability to move certain items from one app to another.

In iOS 16, Apple expanded the feature by introducing “lift subject from background.” As the name suggests, the feature allows you to lift a subject out of an image or isolate the subject by removing the background. The new feature works in Photos, Screenshot, Quick Look, Safari, etc. on iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. It will work on all the best iPhones and iPads when new software updates hit the public this fall.

Apple occasionally releases updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas. Although beta versions contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that may prevent normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not designed for everyday use on a mainstream device. This is why we strongly advise you to stay away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and use public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final version.

Table of Contents:

  • Using Drag and Drop in iOS 15
  • Raise the subject from the background in iOS 16
  • Good product
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Using Drag and Drop in iOS 15

Since the iPhone doesn’t include parallel multitasking, it’s never been possible to move content between two apps, at least in the same way as on the iPad. So in iOS 15, Apple created something different to get the job done. Now it’s easy to move photos, text, files, and other documents. Do this:

  • Hold the object you want to move until it turns light blue. Once you do, the object will start to float like a cloud, which you can move by sliding your finger across the screen.

    Source: HowHow

  • Then, while holding the object with your finger, use one finger of your other hand to switch between apps using the launch bar. It’s the white bar at the bottom of the screen.
  • Place the floating content where you want to place it in the second app.
  • Place the content in its new position in the new application.

    Source: HowHow

  • This is what it looks like when dragging photos:

    Raise the subject from the background in iOS 16

    With iOS 16’s Remove Subject From Background feature, you can “lift” a subject from the background of any image, screenshot, or document. From there you can drop the object into another application. As we noted earlier, it’s like a sticker tool. You can only use the Raise Subject from Background feature on an iPhone or iPad with A12 Bionic or later.

    To use the new feature in iOS 16/iPadOS 16:

  • Find the object you want to “lift” on your compatible device.
  • Press the object until you feel haptic feedback.
  • Choose Copy or “Share…” on the button that appears.
  • With Copy, you can copy and paste just like any other object. You can use the **Share…»*** share sheet to perform similar tasks.
  • Since iOS 16 is currently only available in developer beta, we are unable to show these steps with images. We will add them once the first public version of iPadOS 16 is released.

    Good product

    It’s great that Apple has extended the drag and drop feature in iOS 16, which will be released to the public this fall. Until then, it’s limited to developers and public betas. Stay tuned.

    June 2022 Update: Added information about background clearance issue in iOS 16.

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