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Android lets you convert units using Smart Text Selection


Android lets you convert units using Smart Text Selection

When you’re reading a website article or looking at your notes for a recipe you saved, you’ll probably come across units of measurement that you’ll need to convert to another unit. The “easiest” way would be to copy the text then paste it on Google and search for the conversion. But now Android seems to have quietly given us an easier way to do so using the Smart Text Selection feature. It’s still not as easy or as seamless but it beats doing it manually.

Android Police shares this new “easter egg” functionality from your Android device using the Smart Text Selection tool, which is one of the most convenient things to come out of Android since 2017. The tool lets you pass text that you highlighted from one app to another through the suggestions in the box. If you highlight a phone number, you will see the Phone app in the tool box or if it’s an email address, it will suggest Gmail, and so on and so forth.

The new thing that Google seems to have added is to add unit conversions to the options on the Smart Text Selection tool. When you’re highlighting what it detects to be a measurement, it will include both the number and the unit. Then you’ll see a Convert option, next to Cut, Copy, and Paste and then it will hand it over to the Google app adding the word “convert” to the search term. You will then have to select the unit you want to convert it to.

This seems to work on most units including length, weight, volume, as well as currency. While it’s still not as seamless as having an overlay of the unit conversions, it’s still more convenient than copying the text, switching to the Google app or any browser, pasting it on the search bar, and then searching for the conversion. Hopefully they will make it even more convenient in future updates as a lot of people need to convert things for recipes, home improvement projects, school, etc.

This doesn’t seem to be a new feature as some have spotted it as early as July. But Google actually only recently “confirmed” this on their issue tracker. In any case, it’s not showing up for some users yet so it may be dependent on your Android version.