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Hearts & Minds

by M.G. Siegler


Drag and drop on iOS is more powerful than it's ever been on the desktop

Paul Miller:

My first reaction to Apple's WWDC announcement of iOS drag and drop was basically, "Lol welcome to three decades ago." But after watching a more in-depth technical explanation of the technology at Apple's follow-up Platforms State of the Union, I'm starting to wonder if Apple has a new “pinch to zoom” on its hands: a technology that doesn't just allow for multitouch devices to compete with point-and-click desktop experiences, but in a way, it surpasses them.


What makes iOS drag and drop special is that you can grab multiple things at once, and they don't all have to be within a convenient marquee selection range. You can keep hold of the first object; navigate elsewhere in the app; grab something else, which is then added to the "stack" of stuff under your finger; and keep adding until you're satisfied. On a desktop it's possible to select non-contiguous items for drag and drop with shift click or control click, but I'm unaware of a system for grabbing onto multiple items from multiple views outside of fancy clipboard hacks.

Sounds great.


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