How to drag and drop content from one app to another in Android 14

Android 14 is here, and while Google has kept its best features exclusive to its Pixel lineup, plenty of new features are coming to your phone soon. While some of the best content in this update is hidden behind the scenes, you’ll find critical new tools that are great for multitasking, especially if you haven’t upgraded to one of our favorite foldables. Whether your Google Pixel 8 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has One UI 6 beta, here’s how to drag and drop between apps in Android 14.

What exactly is drag and drop?

With drag and drop, you can select any amount of text and move it to different apps without copying or saving the content to your device. The possibilities for this are endless. You can select an ingredient list and transfer it to your Notes app, or select troubleshooting instructions from Reddit to send to a friend. This helps make single-screen multitasking more of a reality.

An old feature in a new form factor

Hold the Pixel Fold in one hand while the Calendar app is open.

If this feature sounds old to you, it is. Apple added this to iOS years ago – even extending it in iOS 16 with its infamous drag-and-drop dog feature – and Google added it to Android 13 in 2022. big difference? Drag and drop on Android was limited to split screen multitasking. While this worked on single-screen devices in split display mode, it was a bit of a headache, a tool that would be more useful and usable on foldable devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 or Pixel Fold.

With Android 14, Google made it a little easier for anyone to transfer text between apps, regardless of their device. You don’t need to go into split mode and you don’t need to upgrade your phone to a foldable to make things easier. All you do is highlight your content and perform some impressive finger gymnastics.

How to drag and drop between apps in Android 14

Take your smartphone running Android 14 and open the app you want to grab content from. We tested this on a stable version of Android 14 running on the Pixel 8 Pro and a beta version of One UI 6 running on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. We use both images below.

  1. Open the app you want to capture text or photos from. In these examples, we copy text from Android Police articles on the web.
  2. Highlight the text you want to copy.
  3. Press and hold the text to make it selectable and moveable. It follows your thumb as you move around the screen.
  4. Use your secondary finger or alternate hand to swipe home or open the list of recent apps. You may find it easier to hold the text with your thumb while using your left hand to navigate the page.
  5. Select the app you want to paste your text into from the app drawer or app changer. In our case, we use a blank note in Google Keep.
  6. Make sure the cursor is enabled in your app.
  7. Release the text from your finger. It is automatically included in the program.

And that’s it! Now you can edit, send, or do anything else with the text after you put it, just as if you wrote it yourself.

Problems and limitations of drag and drop in Android

Android 14 can be a little tough on this. Sometimes, the text doesn’t get pasted for no reason. If this happens to you, repeat the process, as we have found it more successful on second attempts.

Drag and drop doesn’t seem to work with photos across the screen. We tried every combination of apps and photos on the Pixel 8 Pro and Galaxy S23 Ultra. Although you can drag some photos between content — such as images from Internet browsers — they often disappear when you release your finger.

One place this tool works is in the file browser. There, drag and drop with files works similarly to text, as the content appears as its filename. From there, we can transfer images to Google Keep and Messages without any problems. Hopefully Google will add support for moving media between apps to more places, including the web, to avoid the need to save or copy photos and videos.

Although it’s far from perfect, it’s an incredibly useful tool for moving content between apps without entering split-screen mode. With any luck, Google will continue to make this feature more powerful in future versions of Android. Until then, tweak these five settings in Android 14 to make the experience even better.

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