Android 13 arrived with significant updates, one of which includes a new copy/paste behavior in which the system displays a visual confirmation when content is added to the clipboard. This overlay makes it easier for users to know that copying has been successful, as well as gives the option to edit what is captured in the clipboard.
During Android 13 beta testing, specifically with Beta 3.1 (build TPB3.220513.017), we noticed and reported a new behavior where it appeared this overlay would, at some point, gain the capability to share and send the content across devices. This was evidenced by screenshots and an animation on the Android Developers’ site, where the UI clearly showed this intent with the presence of a Nearby Share shortcut, though it was not yet active. This was also announced and previewed during Google I/O earlier this year.
Recently, Esper’s Mishaal Rahman discovered that we might not need to wait long to see this in action on our own phones. According to Mishaal, this is rolling out as a server-side update right now. It replaces the usual share button on the left side, taking up the space previously occupied by the edit button and deleting it entirely. Instead, in order to access the editor, you will need to tap the clipboard preview itself.
This update seems to be rolling out in stages, with only a small number of users receiving it so far. I have not been able to replicate this behavior on my Pixel 7 Pro, so I’ll likely not receive this until a later date. Since it is a server-side update, there isn’t anything you can do yourself to get this feature quicker, although one thing you can do to make sure you are ready when it does roll out to you is to activate the Nearby Share feature on your device, if you haven’t already done so.
I am excited by Nearby Share being added in more places. My one wish for this feature is for a PWA version to exist so I can transfer screenshots between my Pixel and my Mac without needing to first upload them to Google Drive, similar to the way Snapdrop does over the web. Expanding this functionality to work cross-device is an opportunity that Google should not waste. Apple users would not cling as tightly to their walled garden if they had legit options to explore around it. Sure, there are many third-party apps out there that do this, but isn’t it more likely that a Google-created app would get more trust and more use? I hope that happens one day and that the functionality can be baked right into Google Chrome.