Tablets are not dead. This is a fact that Google has made clear over the past few months. Android 12L seeks to restore the former glory of these mid-range devices with special use cases, and I couldn’t be more excited. Today on The Keyword, the company announced that it’s introducing new ways to make Workspace apps more useful while you’re sitting on the couch.
For starters, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Keep are all getting drag-and-drop functionality while split-screen is active on any larger screen device running Android 12L. It’s not just text either, you can also quickly move images from Keep to a Gmail body, for example, skipping the attachment step altogether! This goes for existing documents and spreadsheet cells too, giving you the convenience of a desktop while you kick back and relax.
Using drag and drop into Drive from the Files app, for example, will automatically initiate a file download – again, like on a desktop or laptop with a mouse. Another example given by Google in the blog post is dragging Drive file links into Keep to quickly create a shortcut to something important in your notes. An interesting use case, sure, but I’d probably go with a Drive star icon for important files, unless it’s specifically related to a thought I saved in Keep.
More importantly, tapping the three-dot “more” menu in the info section of a Drive file will now allow you to “Open in new window.” Calling these two instances of Drive up side by side will allow you to view information or view and edit a file without losing your current position in your file hierarchy!
Finally, Android 12L will now work with common keyboard shortcuts in Drive and other apps like copy, cut, and paste in exactly the same way you’d expect from a full-fledged operating system. The purpose of adding this is to keep your hands on the connected keyboard and not have to reach out to press and hold a filename to get its options.
The groundwork for this was laid weeks ago when Google introduced copy-and-paste to Drive, the only Workspace app that seems to be missing so far. These updates will be rolling out to Android 12L devices for those with personal Workspace and Google accounts over the next two weeks. Apparently this is just the beginning of what Google is looking to add to the tablet OS, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.