If the beta is anything to go by, we WILL get drag and drop on our iPhones with iOS 11!
When Apple unveiled iOS 11 earlier this week on the WWDC stage, one of our most thirsted-after features appeared to be simultaneously confirmed and debunked, depending on your device of choice.
Speculation was rampant about the introduction of a new drag and drop file management feature right before the conference after a developer running an iOS 10 beta spotted the new category.
When Apple exec and painful dad-joke enthusiast Craig Federighi took the stage to show off iOS 11’s new bells and whistles, he did cover drag and drop extensively — complete with an awkward stab at humor by calling the demo a "drag fest" — but only showed off the feature as part of the iPad’s split view functionality. It appeared that our drag and drop dreams for the iPhone were dashed.
Developers who have gotten their hands on the iOS 11 beta, however, have shared some evidence that there’s still hope for smartphone productivity enthusiasts: multiple screencap videos posted to Twitter show off the new functionality working on the iPhone, too.
The new drag and drop function was demoed for the Twitterverse on an iPhone 6 Plus by Steve Troughton-Smith, the developer who originally floated the potential for the feature before WWDC.
Here’s how Drag & Drop works on the iPhone [6 Plus]: you get drag & multi-select, but don’t get spring-loading and can’t drag between apps pic.twitter.com/7XCj4NYL3A
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) June 6, 2017
The demo shows a watered-down version of the functionality, however; instead of being able to drag files directly between apps and open folders automatically by hovering over them, aka "spring loading, Troughton-Smith was only able to select multiple files and drag them from screen to screen.
Another developer running the beta showed off more of the drag and drop utility in response to Troughton-Smith’s video, demonstrating how they were able to drop files between apps using the app switcher function on an iPhone.
This video looks more promising — but developers are already speculating it could just be a bug in the beta, rather than an actual feature.
Unfortunately, we won’t know if drag and drop will actually make it into the fully fleshed-out version of iOS 11 — and we won’t find out until it hits devices later this fall. Apple could tweak any of the teased features of the software, so if you’re counting on drag and drop making an appearance on iPhones in the future, all you can do for now is play these videos and hope.