Android 14’s new drag-and-drop feature can be a multitasker’s dream

The new beta shows the ability to move text and media between apps with drag-and-drop.


Android users have long cherished the platform’s multitasking capabilities, and even iOS has improved in recent years. However, a notable gap remained between the two. With iOS, users had the ability to drag and drop text, images, and files between full-screen apps by long-pressing on an item and utilizing system navigation to switch between applications. However, this functionality was not available in Android. That might be changing soon thanks to a discovery made in Android 14 Beta 2.

Nail Sadykov, editor of the Google News Telegram channel, stumbled upon the existence of the new feature while using the latest Android 14 beta. In a video recording posted Thursday on Twitter, you can see Sadykov drag and drop text, images, and files between apps without the need for split-screen mode. Simply long-press with one finger, use system navigation gestures with the other finger, while maintaining your hold on the selected content, and you can start multitasking.

Thanks to multi-touch gestures, the new drag-and-drop feature opens up expanded possibilities for multitasking in Android 14. Previously, when holding onto a file, gestures were ignored by the system, and this limitation extended even to users employing three-button navigation. As a result, the drag-and-drop functionality was limited to the split-screen mode. Now, users can drag content from their favorite note-taking app to another, effortlessly swipe between open apps, conveniently swipe up to access the home screen, and then perform a back gesture by swiping from the edge of the display.

Google’s focus on multitasking

The drag-and-drop feature isn’t the only thing we’ve seen from Google recently on the subject of improving multitasking. The company’s recent unveiling of the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet at the I/O 2023 developer’s conference demonstrates not only a new effort to enter the foldable and tablet categories but also a renewed focus on bringing more multitasking capabilities to Android. Split-screen mode is super easy to use on an expanded screen, especially on the Pixel Fold where you can fold the phone in half to focus on just one app, and users can enjoy the convenience of transferring text, images, and files between apps that are open side by side.

Additionally, Android 14 introduces an App Pairs system that allows you to easily open up two apps at the same time, and revamped back gestures that should help you switch between apps a lot quicker.