This Underrated iOS Feature Makes Copying And Pasting Items So Much Easier
Copying text, URLs, and images between programs on your computer—or even just browser tabs—was pretty easy and ubiquitous for a very long time. Just about anyone who uses a computer regularly has developed muscle memory for holding down CTRL (or Cmd) + C and CTRL + V. But the process was much more clumsy on smartphones, including iPhones and iPads, for a while — until recently.
Apple recently added a “drag and drop” feature (via Apple) to the iPad, with the goal of making moving information around a much smoother experience. Now iPad users can copy and paste things within an app or across apps with a handful of fairly intuitive gestures. The problem was that it only worked on the iPad.
Of course, this still meant a bit more work for iPhone users. But this has since been addressed with any device running iOS 15 and up, so now you can transfer links and words and images without letting go of the screen. That said, the older, menu-driven copy-and-paste technique is still available if you’ve gotten used to it.
An easier way to move and share your stuff
As long as you have iOS 15 or later installed on your iPhone, you have the power to use drag and drop! It may take some getting used to as it requires some finger movements that may feel unnatural at first, but once you get the hang of it, the process is pretty simple.
- If you’re copying text or a URL, first mark everything you want to copy.
- Tap and hold on the highlighted text (or tap and hold on an image if you’re copying an image).
- Ignore the menu that usually appears. While holding your finger on the screen, drag the image or text across the screen instead to start the copying process.
- While holding your finger on the screen, use another finger (or your thumb, whichever is easier) to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to pull out of the app you’re in.
- Hold your finger against the screen over the text or image you’re copying, and use your other finger or thumb to open the app you want to paste into.
- Drag the text or image to the place in the app where you want to paste it, then remove your finger from the screen.