The way we handle web images on mobile devices can be a tad bit clunky. With the way copyrights work, maybe that’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, I don’t think it is OK to snag someone’s work from a website and use it as your own on a public website or service. There are also times, however, when a web image is the best way to convey a personal message in a chat or text thread, and it is very nice to be able to simply copy and paste images in those instances.
As it stands right now, that isn’t an option on Chrome for Android. I use the copy/paste functionality in WhatsApp on my Chromebook on a regular basis to simply share an image I found on the web. With a multi-window setup, I can click copy and then past the image into the chat or I can simply drag the image over and it will do the same thing. Both of these function are due to Chrome’s ability to copy/paste images from the web.
For Android, it isn’t quite as simple. The best way to accomplish the same simple task outlined above is to long-press the picture, click share, choose a service from the share sheet, and then send it. While still a decent way to get web content into a chat, this is a far cry from being able to long-press, hit copy, and then simply paste it where you like.
Implement copying image to android clipboard
Implement copying image to android clipboard via context menu.
The included UI documentation isn’t made publicly available and the flag that exists in the Developer Channel of Chrome for Android doesn’t really do anything at this point. Because of this, we’re unable to actually give this whole thing a spin, but when it does launch, I’d imagine we’ll have the ability to simply long-press and copy images wherever we’d like via the pop-up context menu.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for this feature to roll out in a later version of Chrome in the coming versions. This commit just showed up in the middle of January, so it could take a few updates before we actually see it hit devices. However, the idea and execution of copy/paste isn’t exactly new, so now that they are working on adding it for images, the implementation may not actually take long.