Google Announces Serious Productivity Features For Android Tablets

After neglecting the tablet space for over a decade, Google finally decided to do something about it in 2022. Earlier this year, in March, Google released a version of Android called Android 12L specifically designed for tablet-sized devices. The launch of this tablet-specific Android version was significant given that the last such release from the company came more than 11 years ago with Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Along with support for large-screened tablets, Android 12L has also been optimized for the current crop of foldable devices.

The first stable release of Android 12L offered a lot of UI optimizations that let Android capitalize on the extra screen estate offered by tablets. It came with an improved multitasking experience, a completely redesigned layout for easier viewing of content, and even a macOS-like taskbar for quick access to apps. While these improvements were welcomed by most Android tablet users, it was evident that Google needed to do a lot more than offering minor visual changes to Android 12L to compete with iPadOS. As a part of this, on July 25, 2022, Google announced a bunch of new features to Android 12L that will make life easier for people who frequently use Google Workspace on tablets.

A more productive Google Workspace experience

Among the first features introduced on the updated version of Android 12L includes the ability to drag and drop content from one app to another. The new feature allows users to click an image (say from Google Chrome), and simply drag it to a spreadsheet or a document. The drag and drop feature also works on Google Drive where you can now drag and drop files into a folder like you would on a computer for quick uploading.

Staying with Google Drive, the updated version of Android 12L now allows users to open two windows of Google Drive side by side. This nifty feature could be of great use to people who work with Google Drive frequently and need to manage the contents of folders without having to go back and forth from one folder to another. To enable this feature, the updated version of Android 12L now adds an option that says "Open in New Window" on the three-dot menu on any file stored within Google Drive.

While previous Android versions supported external accessories like keyboards and mice, their usage on Android was very rudimentary, with no support for advanced features like gestures and keyboard shortcuts. That changes effective today after Google announced several new keyboard shortcuts enabling users to perform tasks like select, cut, copy, paste, undo and redo with Google Workspace. Google claims that the newly supported keyboard shortcuts will help users improve their productivity. Google confirmed that these new features would roll out to users in the next few weeks.