01
Nov
ico

A while back, an experimental feature debuted in a Chrome for Android Beta release that seemed pretty innocuous - instead of tapping the overflow menu button to cause the dropdown to appear, you could now press, drag, and release to select an option in the list. From a touch device perspective, it's understandable why such an implementation would be desirable for some users, as it reduces the amount of tapping required for some tasks. Some people also may kind of prefer it just because.

With Android 4.4, it seems Google has implemented the drag-and-release gesture on most standard menu overflow buttons (this was predicted in a Reddit thread about six days ago, too). That means the large majority of apps using a normal overflow button will now have the drag-and-release behavior enabled (oddly, we found Google+ didn't support it). Neat! Check out our video demo of it on file management app Total Commander, below.

Thanks, Sam!

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • RedPandaAlex

    What about the task switcher? That's where I want it?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      No, that triggers Google Now.

    • ConCal

      Maybe they could implement a doube tap to drag on the task switcher could be good.

    • Tills13

      Woah. That would be awesome...

    • Casey Artner

      I have wanted this forever. Hold recents and drag up + release. Make Google now operate on the home button.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Enter custom ROMs...

        Anyone know of one that does this?

    • Crispin Swickard

      That would be some cool functionality. I just wish they would add a was to clear all the tasks at once like almost all the 3rd party solutions..

      • Jsilvermist

        Well it may not be a native Android function, but the app GMD Auto Hide Soft Keys lets you swipe up from the task switcher to close all.

        • Crispin Swickard

          Hmm I have tried that on my N10 in the past. I will have to look into that again. Thanks for the heads up.

  • CuriousCursor

    I'm guessing only apps that use AppCompat library or native action bar would have this feature?

    • Kieron Quinn

      Nope, works in ActionBarSherlock too

      • NasaGeek

        Probably not on Gingerbread devices. On 4.0+ ABS just calls through to the native implementation.

        • Kieron Quinn

          I was meaning that it works on ABS based apps on KitKat

  • mlj11

    Excellent! This is my favourite new(ish) user-facing feature of Chrome, hands down. So glad that it'll be available everywhere else.

    Now I'm just hoping Google flips the default "double-tap-and-swipe down to zoom in" feature, and ports it system-wide too (or at least in apps where zooming is needed).

    • Aki

      The double tap and swipe gesture is available as API in Android 4.4. Think app developers would have to support it in their app

    • Abhilash Bingi

      It bugs me that gesture is implemented exactly opposite in Google Maps!

      • http://mikelward.com/ Mikel

        The Maps way makes more sense to me. But reasonable people are likely to disagree. :-)

  • Zak Taccardi

    yessssssss

  • Sean Lumly

    What's old is new (again): this feature has been around since the dawn of the mouse-driven desktop interface. Just wait until we get multiple windows open on the same screen!

    • Michael Lee

      Android's has menu buttons like that for some time now. This video is just showing how you can slide down and see the menu.

      • Sean Lumly

        My post was in reference to the 'drag and release' menu functionality that is certainly new to Android.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Whoa whoa whoa there, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Multiple applications open on the same screen? That's just crazy talk!

    • jesuguru

      Samsung's got multi-window going for two resizable app windows on-screen, crude and clunky and limited as it is.

    • Grimmjow

      I don't like this UX its hard to see the menu while moving your finger. Why is this being done? So we can use mouse hover on desktop? Microsoft is moving towards the click UX on mobile and desktop websites (check microsoft.com) and i think that's better.

      • http://www.drusepth.net Andrew Brown

        Have you used it? It's not hard to see the menu at all...

  • TY

    Take that Samsung, LG, Lenovo, and any other OEMs still releasing devices with physical menu buttons!

    • woj_tek

      I still prefere physical menu buttons and the push towards all-display one is somewhat annoying...

      • daviddwk

        I agree. It was one of my favorite things moving from an apple to android but, with my nexus and custom roms I can enable a menu button in the nav bar.

      • Shinsen

        Then enjoy never knowing an app has menu items for you without pressing the menu button and hoping for the best.

    • MarkyC

      My Galaxy S2 (i727) has 4 capacitive buttons: menu, home, back and search

  • branden

    I thought this would've happened :D

  • Paul_Werner

    +1 for Total Commander!

    • Paul Klinger

      The perfect example that sometimes function really is more important than form.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      As a diehard TC fan on the desktop, I just can't move to any other file manager, no matter how pretty. Something always feels off.

      • Paul_Werner

        Same here. I still lol at the "Total Nerdgasm" article from a while back. I was going by the name Wr3ck in the comments back then and was surprised that I was able to bring up something article worthy on AP

  • Tony

    Seems more useful for when android is full desktop and used with a mouse and hover over the overflow button.

  • Matthew Fry

    Chrome for windows does it too... Noticed that after it appeared on mobile but I'm not sure how long it has been there.