Microsoft might be the market leader when it comes to desktop operating systems, but its aspirations for search have remained depressingly dismal. Currently, less than 3% of online searches are conducted via Microsoft's Bing search engine, but the company is trying to bump that number up by any means necessary... apparently even spammy additions to its Outlook app on Android. Read More
A cool little feature in the Android P Developer Previews was that you could select text and images from any item on the Overview screen. Unfortunately, it stopped working on original Pixel devices — intentionally, it seems, as Google support marked an Issue Tracker complaint about it "Won't Fix (Intended Behavior)." But the feature has now made it to the full release of Android 9 Pie, even on 2016 Pixels. Read More
Probably the most divisive new feature in the second developer preview of Android P is gesture navigation. The optional 'Swipe up on Home button' setting removes the Recents button and replaces the Home button with a pill. Swiping up from the pill triggers the new Recents (also known as Overview) interface, and the apps are now arranged horizontally — much like the current behavior of iOS. Read More
Google Lens has been rolling out for the past months to both the Photos app and the Assistant, but the device availability and featureset of the option have been different between the two. It looks like we're moving to some semblance of parity though, as the Assistant version of Google Lens is now capable of selecting text, just like the Photos version could starting last December.
Previously, when you tapped on text in the viewfinder of Lens, it would recognize some of the text and give you relevant answers, but wouldn't let you specifically select which part of the text you wanted to search for. Read More
We've already spotted one change in text selection on Android P with the redesigned more compact options pop-up, but there's one more nifty thing we didn't notice at first. When you change selected text in Android P, you'll see a small pop-up on top with a zoomed in view that shows you exactly where your selection begins and ends. Check it in action in the gif below. Read More
We've had a solid day of almost nothing but Android P feature spotlights, but they're still not finished. We legitimately weren't expecting this many new things in this developer preview. On top of all of the features already discussed, Android P introduces a revised text selection popup, though it's nothing groundbreaking. Read More
A new version of Gboard hit the stage late Wednesday night, and this one is absolutely packed with great improvements. The toolbar is now configurable, making space for an entirely new tool for editing text and navigating the cursor. One-handed mode now allows for resizing and positioning the keyboard. There's also a stack of newly supported languages from Assamese to Waray. The teardown isn't empty either, as there are signs Google may be planning to merge in the Handwriting keyboard and introduce an Incognito Mode. Read More
Dictionary.com is one of the most popular dictionary apps on Android, with the free version racking up between 10 and 50 million downloads on the Play Store. An updated version of the app has just been released which brings a fresh coat of paint and some welcome new features.
One of the more useful highlights of version 7.0 is the added support for the floating text selection toolbar introduced in Android Marshmallow. This allows users to quickly search for a definition through the app by highlighting a word and selecting the "Define" option from the popup menu. Other nifty features include the ability to explore locally trending words and a list of your favorite and most recent searches. Read More
During its I/O keynote, Google glanced a bit over a new text selection behavior in Android M, but the changes are interesting enough to further dwell over.
First up is a faster way to select text in M, where after highlighting the first word, you can drag to expand the selected text, word by word, but then when you try to retract you can be more precise and move by character. It should make it easier to pick bigger chunks of text without having to painstakingly try to hit the end of the word you want, while still giving you freedom should you want to truncate the selection in the middle of a word. Read More