Android M Introduces Enhanced Text Selection

June 3, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

When Google announced Android M last week at the annual Google IO developer conference, they showed off and discussed some pretty big changes coming to the system, like Android Pay, Now On Tap, and some integration with Android For Work to bring the stock Android OS in line with more of an enterprise standard. While these were some of the major changes, which by all accounts are still pretty minor compared to the overhaul brought on by Lollipop, there are lots of little changes behind the scenes and under the hood as well. Users can think of these as refinements, adjustments or fine tuning, as Google is simply making things more cohesive and all around improved.

One of the things users can expect with Android M is some enhancements to the act of selecting text for purposes of copy, cut, and paste actions. According to the Android Developers webpage, selecting text within Android M is going to be faster than it was in previous versions of Android. Again, this isn’t a monumental and groundbreaking change, but it’s often said that it’s the little things that count and in some sense this is true with the Android operating system, as something so small as the action of selecting text even has the potential to be smoothed out to an enjoyable experience. Not that it was terribly difficult to do before, but Android M should the process quicker and more streamlined.

Android M also introduces a floating toolbar for the cut, copy, paste actions after you have the collection of words you want highlighted. The toolbar populates just above the selected text now too, so reaching to complete the following actions is also a faster process, and as you would expect everything appears in a much more lively sense with the animations people have come to know and love with Android Lollipop forward. Google gives a rundown of the steps needed for developers to implement the floating toolbar into their apps for text selection which seems like a fairly small set of steps. Those who are using the Android M Preview should be able to check the floating toolbar out within any app in TextView, and you can also view the GIF below which displays these changes in action.