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3 ways your iPhone's Mail app just got better

See how Mail on your iPhone has improved.

Matt Elliott/CNET

It's a toss-up between Mail and Messages for the app I use most on my iPhone (£849.00 at Amazon.co.uk). And maybe Instagram. (And, OK, the MLB.com At Bat app during the summer months.) But by and large, it's email and texting that I do most regularly on my phone. The Messages app got a few new features with iOS 11, and Apple didn't ignore the Mail app. iOS 11 has added a few new features to it, too.

Drag and drop

The difficulty moving your cursor around and highlighting  on a touchscreen is why I mostly just read emails on my iPhone and wait until I get back to my MacBook (£1,125.00 at Amazon.co.uk) for composing any messages or replies longer than a couple words. With iOS 11, Apple has added the ability to drag and drop, which is more useful for multitasking on an iPad but adds a new way to move text and images around in the Mail app.

When you highlight a sentence and then long-press it -- it'll pop out a bit, at which point you can drag it to another spot and drop it. You can also long-press on a single word -- without needing to highlight it first -- and it'll pop out so you can drag and drop it. I ran into some trouble, however, when I tried to drag and drop a sentence I highlighted -- sometimes I would grab the entire sentence and other times I would grab only the single word that happened to be below my finger.

You can also long-press on a image you inserted in an email and drag and drop it to a new spot in your message. I also found this to be difficult, too, especially if the image in question is in portrait orientation where it's super-tall on your small phone screen, leaving you little room to operate.

Perhaps I'll get better at dragging and dropping with practice.

via GIPHY

Insert drawings

Long-press on on an email and you'll notice a new option if you tap all the way to the right on the menu banner: Insert Drawing. This option lets you scribble your ideas and insert them into an email. Because sometimes it's better to jot down an idea than explain it in words.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Automatically collapse read threads

It's easy to lose your place in a long email thread when attempting to navigate it on your phone. With iOS 11, Apple has added a new option in Mail's preferences that helps you keep your place. It's called Collapse Read Messages and it's enabled by default. You can find it by going to Settings > Mail and scrolling down to the Threading section. With it enabled, all of the messages in the thread that you've already read will be collapsed so when you open a thread, you'll be able to easily read the new, unread messages that await.

mail-ios-11-collapse-read-messages

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Read more: All the best new features of iOS 11