Android traditionally had more robust multitasking features than iOS, but Apple has closed the gap in recent years and even surpassed Google’s mobile OS in some areas. For instance, Android 13 only allows you to drag and drop files between apps when they’re in split screen mode, but iOS 16 lets you pick up an item in one full screen app, then use navigation gestures to drop it into another app — heck, you can even drag-and-drop-the-dog. Thankfully, Android 14 has a new multitasking trick up its sleeve.
Nail Sadykov, editor of the Google News Telegram channel, noticed the new feature on the latest beta version of Android 14. You can now long-press text, images, or other files with one finger, then use a second finger for system navigation gestures while still holding onto the selected media. This means you can drag something from one app and drop it in another without having to put the apps into split-screen mode first.
Previously, the system would ignore any gestures while you were holding onto a file, and the same was true even if you were using three-button navigation. Now, not only can you swipe between open apps using Android’s multitasking gesture, but you can also swipe up to go to your home screen or swipe from the edge of your display to go back.
The back gesture compatibility means you can now drag an item from one note within an app like Google Keep and drop it into another document inside the same app. Meanwhile, having access to the home gesture while dragging an item means you can drop it into any app in your app drawer.
It may seem like a simple change, but it makes Android’s drag and drop functionality so much more useful. After debuting its Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet at I/O 2023, it seems Google is paying extra attention to multitasking features in its latest OS version. We’ve already spotted a new App Pairs system, and a revamped back gesture is making system navigation much more intuitive.