IOS/iPadOS 15 tips/tricks

I’ve not been a beta tester (I don’t have time to watch developer events), so I had no idea that fully featured extensions were coming, what a nice suprise!

The 1Password extension is really impressive, and I look forward to finding more.

AgileBits did not release a (public?) TestFlight version of 7.8, so I had no idea either…

(I also do not run OS betas, but I did run the Release Candidate for 1 week)

My two favorite features are:

  1. On iOS you can use drag and drop systemwide. So you can (finally) drag and drop a Mail message to create a link to it on your task manager of choice. We’ve been able to do that on iPad for a while, but that’s new on iPhone.

  2. Keyboard shortcuts for multitasking on iPadOS:


I was not aware this could be done on the phone. I have tried but can’t figure out how to drag the message to the Reminders app. I can drag the message but can’t figure out how to get it to Reminders on the phone. Am I misunderstanding you?

I do this a lot on the iPad but for the life of me can’t figure out how to do it on the phone with iOS 15.

  • tap and hold an email message item in the message list.
  • after you feel haptic feedback, drag your finger to ‘grab’ the email item.
  • while still holding your one finger on the screen (to keep the ‘grabbed’ mail item), use your other finger to go to Reminder (or Things 3/Notes) via application drawer
  • you have to make sure Reminder/Things 3/Notes already have blank page. if not, use the other finger to tap on “new page”
  • finally, drag you one finger holding the mail item on a textfield of that new page. make sure it shows a ‘green plus’ sign before rising that ‘grabber finger’

or in other words, you need at least 2 fingers to grab a mail item and the other to navigate your iPhone


You can hold your finger on the screen with the selection and then use another finger to go back to the Home Screen and open the desired app.

So a Mail to Things workflow would look like this;

  1. Hold your finger in the message (blank part of the header seems to work best for this)
  2. Wait till the drag and drop cue for item selection shows up
  3. Use a second finger to swipe up the Switcher bar (or swipe left for the last used app)
  4. Open your app of choice (Things in my case) and use the first finger to drag it there.

Here’s a quick demo:


EDIT: Works great for Safari URLs too. Yet another reason why that bar belongs to the bottom of Safari! :laughing:

EDIT 2: Yoink users may find it far more useful on iPhone now.


wasn’t this possible for years with Google translate. Holding your camera to a street sign and Google translates it for you in the picture.

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@ldebritto @ybbond Thanks! I finally got it. That took a little practice. I was pressing too hard on the message and I would end up getting options such as reply rather than the ability to drag the message and open up Reminders or Notes.

Thanks again for the tip, much appreciated!

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Just saw a video of Quick Note on iPad OS and wow, what a great feature! I like that it supports highlighting on website, ability to annotate, scribble a phone number or important thing on the go. Suddenly, Apple Notes is cool again and I just moved out of it into Obsidian :man_facepalming:

It’s almost as good as Drafts for note taking!

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Yes, iOS 15 Notes (and Monterey) improvements are one of the reasons I’ve been holding off on spending time investigating Obsidian/Craft etc. in depth.

Dragging and dropping emails into Notes on iPhone also works great. Or into Drafts which creates a nice MD link. Can’t say the same for Ulysses.

Dragging a note on the other hand brings its text contents into Drafts and nothing into Notes. Still no easy linking that I can see.

I don’t know, I never used the Google Translate app. But I think it’s great to have it integrated with iOS.

Holy macaroni this is brilliant! I wish I could click HEART on this post ten times or give you an award or something. This makes iOS/iPad OS a LOT more productive for me.

And even I, klutz that I am, was able to figure it out relatively quickly, using your expert instructions and GIF.

Thank you!


I expect I will love Quick Notes and the other new Notes features once they’re available on my desktop. However, I am slow to upgrade the desktop due to the need to keep within my employer’s policies and guidelines.

I think it was 6-9 months before my employer supported Big Sur.

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I thought I was the only one who could not figure this out! :grin: But, I’ve got it now thanks to @ldebritto!


Yes, Google Translate (and Microsoft Translate) has had the ability to translate printed Chinese text (Trad or Simp) to English for years. Works well for Mandarin or Standard Chinese (i.e. Cantonese in Standard Chinese). Not great for Idiomatic Canto.

Still not good with handwritten characters through, have to rely on the Pleco app and writing the character myself for that.

If you have a WSJ subscription, Joanna Stern has a few tips and tricks to offer – some of them repeats of ones already mentioned above.

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Similar to the action of creating a quick note, if you drag diagonally with an Apple Pencil from the left bottom of the iPad, it takes a screenshot.


Joanna Stern is brilliant. A worthy heir to Walt Mossberg.

This action is available in iOS 14 – and iOS 15 does it one better by adding the highlighted icon in this screen shot, which will OCR the screen shot and allow you to select and copy the resulting text. Coupled with the Universal Clipboard, if you convert/select/copy the OCR text it will immediately show up on the clipboard on your Mac.

I love this kind of integration.


I completely missed that in 14. There are so many things that iPad OS does and I missed so much. I need to do a deep dive and really learn the OS.

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