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This hidden iPhone feature might be the best thing about iOS 15

Published Sep 29th, 2021 10:30PM EDT
iOS 15 Feature
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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If you’re already running iOS 15, there’s a good chance you’re not familiar with the full slate of new iOS features. With that said, there’s one iOS 15 feature that Apple briefly touched on during WWDC that’s worth highlighting in detail because it has the potential to fundamentally change the way you use your iPhone. As you may have guessed, I’m talking about the ability to drag and drop files between different applications.

As a quick aside, the release of iOS 15 has seemingly gone off without a hitch. Despite some scattered reports of battery life problems — which can be attributed to a temporary indexing issue — iOS 15 appears to be running smoothly for most iPhone users so far.

iOS 15’s “Drag and drop” feature

With iOS 15, Apple is adding a standard desktop feature to the iPhone user experience. For the first time, iPhone users can now pick select images and files and drag them from one app to another. While the feature is arguably overdue, Apple has never been afraid to delay the release of a feature until it can implement it just right. And with iOS 15, Apple has done just that.

If you haven’t seen drag and drop in action before, this video from June — which was an iOS 15 beta — shows how easy it is to drag a file from the Photos app into Mail.

And now that the shipping version of iOS 15 is here, we’re starting to see more examples of the feature surface online.

The best one we’ve seen so far comes to us from Twitter user Marcos Alonso. In the video below, Alonso shows how easy it is to use the drag and drop feature. The video has already garnered nearly 2 million views, which speaks to how compelling a feature it is.

In the first example, we see Alonso drag a photo from a website into a Messages conversation. Next, we see Alonso effortlessly drag a website URL into the Mail app. All in all, the implementation is seamless and quintessential Apple.

SharePlay, iOS 15’s most anticipated feature, still isn’t here

The most exciting iOS 15 feature, unfortunately, isn’t here yet. In a scenario that’s becoming far too common, Apple announced SharePlay at WWDC in June only to announce in August it won’t ship on time.

The SharePlay feature lets users across devices watch TV and listen to songs together. So if you want to watch the Squid Game finale with your friend, with the ability to simultaneously pause both streams and chat about what’s happening, SharePlay makes it possible. Also cool is that the feature is designed to work across varying devices. In other words, iPhone users can use the feature with Mac and iPad users.

Equally as compelling is that SharePlay makes it easy for users to share their screens with other users. This feature is a godsend and should make tech support with friends and family infinitely easier.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.