Android might be getting native drag-and-drop feature at some point

Android might be getting native drag-and-drop feature at some point
Patents are a wonderful things. They give us some insight on what tech companies are working on, but they can be a double-edged sword, as a lot of them never actually make it to a finished product. This is why we shouldn't take everything we find in patents for granted.

However, this one feels like it would make sense if it's implemented. The patent in question is granted to Google, and it covers “Drag-and-drop on a mobile device”. And while we have some drag-and-drop support in Android already, this patent looks to extend on it.

According to the documentation, this new drag-and-drop capability would work for text, images, files and whatever else you can imagine. Additionally, it will work between applications, too. For example, you would be able to mark the name of a restaurant from Messenger and drop it into Google Maps, in order to find where you're supposed to meet your friends.

According to the patent, when you start dragging something, Android would let you choose to which application to drag it, based on its type. For example, if you drag an image, it would suggest photo editing apps, messaging apps and other software that can accept an image as an input.

This would greatly improve productivity on your Android phone. Currently, in order to copy a phone number from your browser to your dialer, for example, you have to mark the text, tap Copy, open the dialer, tap on it and choose Paste. With the new drag-and-drop function you'd be able to just mark the text, and drag it to your dialing app.

While the idea of drag-and-drop in Android sounds like a pretty good one, it wouldn't be easy to integrate completely. It will probably force app developers to update their software for the new feature if it gets implemented in the OS at all. However, if Google decides to bring this feature to Android, we believe it would be a much appreciated improvement of the user experience.

source: USPTO via
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