Google has filed a new patent which explores how drag-and-drop could function natively on Android, offering information and context between apps.
Drag-and-drop is a well-known interaction on desktops around the world, but the feature arguably hasn’t been as intuitively used on mobile as it is on either Windows or macOS. Now, a new patent from Google reveals that Android could soon benefit from drag-and-drop functionality at a contextual, inter-application level.
The idea revises the ‘share’ mechanic many versions of Android – as well as iOS – use(s) in order to impart one piece of information from another. For instance, a common flow of behaviour might be to copy a location from Google Maps, and paste it in a WhatsApp chat.
According to Google’s new patent, Android could intelligently suggest destinations for information based on their context. To run with our example above, users might be able to drag a location in Google Maps, have WhatsApp present as a suggestion, and then fire off a locale or series of co-ordinates in a chat all by dragging and dropping what they want to share.
The patent, should it be implemented in a future version of Android, would redefine how we impart information from one application to another – equating to less taps or overall input on behalf of a user, while machine learning could intelligently suggest which apps might be the best fit for the information a user wishes to ‘transact’ with.
However, it’s likely that the introduction of the patent into the real world wouldn’t be a smash hit overnight; Android developers would have to revise the user experience of their apps to support the feature – leaving any changes Google wants to make to the mobile operating system fairly impotent until developers get behind it.
What are your thoughts? Would you want to use drag-and-drop as a native feature in Android? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!