One of the most sorely lacking native features in iOS, especially for iPad users, is the ability to drag and drop files between apps and folders. That’s partially because of the way apps are sandboxed, or protected, from one another. However, it is still something that most of us wish we could do. Thanks to Readdle, at least some apps will still have the feature.
A Major New Drag and Drop Feature
In updates to Readdle’s core apps today, May 27, 2017, the new feature was somewhat quietly announced. If you are using an iPad that supports Split View multitasking, you’ll now be able to drag and drop your documents from one of the developer’s apps to another. For example, you could work on a document in PDF Expert, and then drag that file straight into an email with Spark.
The feature also works with Readdle’s other productivity apps, including Scanner Pro and Documents. The company called it a “major innovation” for Apple’s iOS platform, and I’m inclined to agree. Being able to drag and drop a scan from Scanner Pro straight into Documents is very useful, as is the ability to easily get that report or letter into a Spark email. Documents has also received a significant upgrade, turning it into Finder for iOS.
Too Bad It's so Limited, Though
What’s a shame is that Cupertino hasn’t built drag and drop into iOS yet. The new feature will only work across Readdle’s producitivity apps, and it’s limited to devices that support Split View multitasking. For now, that means the feature is compatible with the various iPad Pro models as well as the iPad Air and iPad mini 4.
Readdle echoes my sentiments precisely. On the company’s blog, the developer says it “hopes that Apple will introduce their own implementation of inter app drag & drop one day.” The iPad is already a great productivity device, but being able to quickly and easily transfer files from one app to another would make things so much nicer. The current method, using Share Sheet extensions, is quite cumbersome and not exactly user-friendly. With that said, at least one developer has seen the need for drag and drop and added it throughout the company’s entire suite of iOS apps.
The new drag and drop feature works in Readdle’s apps across all iPad Pro models, as well as the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4. You can download the apps using the links below. Documents 6 and Spark are free apps. PDF Expert costs $9.99, while Scanner Pro can be had for $3.99.