Google is bringing copyless paste to Android

Smart Chrome features guesses what to save to your clipboard and saves it for later

Copying text on your phone is a fiddly business, so Google is developing a new Chrome tool that will work out which words on a web page are most useful and copy them to your clipboard automatically.

It might sound creepy, but copyless paste isn’t designed to read your mind. The idea is to recognize and cache specific types of information so that when you switch to a different app (Google Maps, for example), any useful text from a recently visited website will be there, ready to paste immediately.

The new feature has been implemented Chrome Dev and Chrome Canary for Android, and you can activate it now by navigating to chrome://flags#enable-copyless-paste.

It doesn’t seem to be fully functional yet (visiting a restaurant’s website then opening Google Maps didn't give the result suggested in the Chromium source code comments), but we’re interested to see how it will be developed in future. For example, could it copy the name of a product you've looked at, then paste it into the Amazon or eBay app, or find music in Google Play Music after you've looked up an artist's tour dates?

Google notes that the data copied from your browser will only be cached locally – it won’t be sent to remote servers. This should come as a relief to anyone worried about sensitive information ending up in their clipboard, where it could be accidentally pasted anywhere with a couple of misplaced taps, or sent to advertisers. The feature is also disabled in Incognito mode.