The USS Quad Damage

Android feature request

Yeah I thought about putting this on the bug request database, but seriously an idea this good getting prioritised out is not a good idea.

If you aren’t familiar with an Android phone, this post may not make any sense. Apologies.

Currently on the Android platform, if you want to get data from one application to another, you can either do a cut-and-paste, an act which is flimsy at best on a touch-screen, and at worst is impossible. Alternately, the application can have hooks so I can, say, long click a picture, or click a URL and send it in an email or tweet it or whatever.

On text fields I can cut and paste, and that’s it. Cutting and pasting is a very unnatural thing in the design philosophy of an Android application. To achieve this, I need to start a task, find the thing I want to cut, cut it, then go start another task which I need to paste to. I have to keep track of the fact that I might need to paste something in my head. Alternately, I could press the Home button and start the other task, get to the text I want to cut, cut it, then go home again, then long press Home again to go back to the application I was at before. It should be clear that most people wouldn’t even know to do this, much less the fact that it completely breaks the task philosophy in Android.

I basically want to add the same application hooks into text fields that already exist on explicit things — that is, URL fields, phone numbers, and straight text. When long clicking a text field, I want an “insert from...” which can grab information from other apps. I could grab GPS co-ords or a URL from Maps, I could grab a phone number, a picture, URL, or similar. This basically solves the “cut and paste” problem, and also won’t break the paradigm. I also see it as very natural, since it’s something I keep trying to do and fail at.