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Android 11 DP4: Recent apps menu gets an easy-to-use text selection tool

Copy and paste text from one app to another without leaving the recent apps menu with this new tool.

Published onMay 6, 2020

Android 11 Recent Apps Copy and Paste Text

Today, a surprise fourth developer preview of Android 11 landed. Now that we’ve had a chance to test it out, we’ve found a new feature within the recent apps menu: a Select button that allows you to easily copy-and-paste text without leaving the menu.

To be clear, the ability to do this isn’t new. Pixel devices have been able to copy text from the recent apps menu for a while now. However, there hasn’t been a specific button in the recent apps menu to use this feature until this iteration of Android 11.

See the screenshots below to see how the new Select tool looks in Android 11:

When you hit the Select button, it automatically highlights the text on the most recent app you had open. This makes it easy for you to then find the text you’re looking for, tap it, and then highlight it to then perform your usual cut-and-paste steps.

While this is hardly a revolutionary new feature, it will be good for people who maybe didn’t know they could do this with their Pixel phones. It might also make it easier for other OEMs to bring this feature to their own iterations of Android.

If you want to know all about Android 11 and the new features we’ve found so far, check out our hub here.