Android Oreo’s Smart Text Selection feature is now available on the latest stable version of Google Chrome. Now, instead of copying information and pasting it somewhere else manually, this handy method will automatically identify what app needs to be opened.
It was announced on Tuesday that Chrome 63 has been released for Android and it will roll out on Google Play over the next couple weeks. Not only does it provide new features like address bar autocompletion and the usual performance improvements, but it added Smart Text Selection support on Android Oreo.
What does Smart Text Selection provide? If there’s an address or phone number on the screen, double-tapping or holding the text will bring up shortcut options. This could be to the Google Maps app for directions or it can make a phone call if you highlight a phone number. Perhaps the best aspect of this feature is that it will automatically highlight the entire segment of text, rather than making the user do it manually.
Earlier this year, Smart Text Selection was announced at Google I/O 2017. Machine learning software in the device is able to identify the information you tap on, such as names, email addresses, and more. None of the information goes into the cloud, protecting the user’s privacy and provides faster results.
The feature is a shortcut in itself to what the Google Assistant does on Oreo. That requires holding down the Home button and selecting “What’s on my screen?” From there, it will separate the information and offer the most useful app for it on your device. Smart Text Selection will become even more handy when more support is launched for it in the future.
June 26, 2017: Google has officially added picture-in-picture (PiP) support to Google Chrome on Android.
New offline features
May 9, 2017: In a Google blog post, product manager Tal Oppenheimer announced some new improvements coming to Chrome for Android’s offline features. You can now tap and hold on any link to download it with the “Download link” option — something that is also possible with article suggestions that appear when you open a new tab. What’s more, the dinosaur page you’ll find in Chrome if you try to access a page while you’re offline now includes a “Download Page Later,” button. Tapping this will mean the page is automatically downloaded when you reconnect to the internet.
Finally, Google has also altered the “new tab” page so that you’ll now see your offline articles, indicated by their “offline badge.” Your most recent downloads will also be shown there at the right-side of the page, too.