It seems Google is readying a new “Copyless Paste” feature for Chrome for Android. The feature is already showing up in both the developer and the Canary versions of Chrome for Android, and can be enabled in the flag settings within the app. In terms of the feature, the ‘Copyless Paste’ name is fairly descriptive as it essentially allows you to use text from one app in another app. In other words, it allows you to paste text without copying it first. While there are no details on how widespread app compatibility will be, it does seem likely that this will work in a number of apps due to the mechanics of the feature.
Copyless Paste essentially works by monitoring Chrome activity and then using that information to predict what a user might want to paste in another app. A prime example being touted is the use of the feature with Maps. So if a user opens a Chrome browser, searches for a place, switches to the Maps app, and opens the keyboard, then the system will infer that a user might be about to search for the place they searched for in Chrome. Therefore, the keyboard will offer the name of the place as one of the predictive suggestions.
This will sound familiar to some, as this was a feature that had already been reported on previously. Although at that time it was simply going by the “Copy Less” label. Now that the feature has been committed, it does seem clear that it will be released as “Copyless Paste.” The description for the flag does highlight the above Maps example while also explaining that the feature is not intended to be used in incognito mode - as obviously incognito mode is designed to avoid tracking of information. In terms of the privacy element, the description very clearly notes that “data is indexed locally, and never sent to the server.” So this presumably will be highlighted as an in-device feature and you probably should not expect it to work across devices. Those interested in enabling the feature will need to download either Chrome Dev or Chrome Canary from the Google Play Store. Once done, head over to chrome://flags in a new browser. The feature will then be listed under “App indexing (Copyless Paste)” as shown below. Although, you shouldn't expect too much functionality from this feature just yet.