Android O Improves Highlighted Text Command Relevance & Speed


A new change that has now been spotted in the the latest developer preview of Android O revolves around the use of copying and pasting. Granted, this is not going to be a feature that many note as an important feature, but for those who often switch between apps and especially when copying text for use in a different app, this will likely be a welcomed improvement.

The first notable change to the copy/paste process is that icons are now appearing when you highlight text in an app. Compared to previous versions of Android, highlighting such text would simply offer the highlighter some basic actions, like copy, share, select all, and so on. While these commands still remain, the icons are now present right beside those commands. So for instance, the share icon now shows up besides 'share' and is also a clickable element – essentially extended the clickable surface space for each actionable command. Although, one of the other changes, is a compromise on how many options can now be shown when text is highlighted. For instance, to access 'Select all' the user is now required to click the overflow menu – it is no longer shown as an immediately viewable option.

Another aspect which is being reported on (although not showing up for us) is that some highlighted text, not only come with icons, but also now comes with icons for apps that Android predicts the user might want to copy/paste the information to. Examples of this include copying a phone number and having the dialer app icon show up as an option, or copying an address and having the Maps icon show up as an option. Likewise, the copying of a URL seems to activate Chrome as one of the text highlight options as well. Allowing the user to quickly copy/paste the content into the app that they are most likely trying to copy and paste the text to. Although, without actually having to manually copy and paste anything. As mentioned though, it is unclear exactly which apps this works in and for, and (unlike the other copy/paste feature) does not currently seen to be a system-wide feature as of yet.


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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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