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    April 25, 2017

    Android patents reveal Google’s work on bringing drag-and-drop to mobile

    android drag-and-drop

    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.

    Read: Android conquers Windows to become the world’s most used operating system

    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.

    android drag-and-drop

    Source: What A Future

    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.

    Read: Android O promises better battery life and smarter notifications

    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!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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