Google's 'Copyless Paste' feature aims to take the pain out of copying text on Android

Chrome's new Copyless Paste option will provide contextual suggestions based on the things you've recently searched.

copyless paste
Credit: Greenbot

We might have already gotten a sneak preview of the developer’s preview of Android O ahead of the I/O conference in May, but Google is surely holding back some of its better features for the big stage. And it seems as though Google has inadvertently given us our first look at one of them.

The latest version of Chrome Canary, Google’s experimental and “unstable” build of its mobile browser, includes a new option for Copyless Paste, a feature previously rumored for Android O. According to the description, it will “provide suggestions for text input based on your recent context” to cut down on the amount of time you need to spend playing with text handles.

While the setting doesn’t seem to do much, that could be because it’s designed to work between apps. As Google describes, “For example, if you looked at a restaurant website and switched to the Maps app, the keyboard would offer the name of that restaurant as a suggestion to enter into the search bar. The data is indexed locally and never sent to the server.” Despite the data being confined to the device, the feature is disabled in incognito mode.

While little else is known about Copyless Paste, presumably it would work with the Gboard keyboard across Google’s suite of apps, though a previous Venture Beat report described the feature as working with the Yelp app as well. Apple introduced a similar feature in iOS 10 that used Siri’s smarts to automatically generate contextual suggestions like calendar events, contacts, and locations in the default  keyboard.

Copy that: We’ve long had a love-hate relationship with text selection in Android, and it’s nice to know that Google feels our pain. While this feature will hardly eliminate the need to use it multiple times a day, it will cut down on how often we need to struggle with those tiny blue handles. And we’re all for that.

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