Android P introduced a rather magical ability for smart text and image selection (on Pixel devices, mostly in English). When you opened the app switcher, a.k.a. Overview or Recents, you could tap and hold on any text or image to share it to another app. This allowed users to circumvent certain apps' lack of a proper share menu, so you could send Instagram pics as proper images via other apps, instead of sending post links. The same was true of Spotify album art or Facebook images, and more. Sadly, in Android Q beta 2, this isn't working.

We couldn't tell you if the feature was functional in beta 1, since we didn't test it back then, but it definitely seems to be broken in beta 2. Every person we've asked to test this says it's not working. So you can't easily share images from apps that usually forbid it. The ability to select text in the app switcher is still there and, oddly, you can still select text inside an image.


Left: Pie image sharing - doesn't work in Q. Right: Pie text selection inside a pic - still works in Q.

So if this is a bug, it's only affecting proper images, and text selection is unaffected. If it isn't a bug and Android has stifled the option to share images (maybe capitulating to some app developers who didn't like this freedom), we'll be real, real, real sad. We'll keep an eye on this and let you know if things, hopefully, change in the future.

With the final release of Android 10, image selection and sharing from the Overview screen is working again. You can get back to sharing images directly from Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, and other apps. Thanks, Bryan and Armando!

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  • Matt Koehler