Android 13 has a copy and paste feature I'm weirdly excited for

android 13 logo on a pixel 4a
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Android 13's latest build currently offers users the ability to edit text they've just copied, which is a quality-of-life change that I can't wait for.

As found in the newly-released Android 13 Beta 1 by Android Police (opens in new tab), copy/pasting text now gives you a small bubble in the corner of your screen, showing you what's been copied. If you tap that bubble, you're taken to an editing screen where you can change what's on the clipboard before you paste it. Also, if you've copied a hyperlink, an extra button appears that will take you straight to that link in Chrome.

Three screenshots showing the new copy/paste system on Android 13, that lets you edit the text you have copied, or open it in Chrome if it's a hyperlink

(Image credit: Android Police)

This feature is effectively a text version of the screenshot editing screen we've seen on phones since Android 11. If you take a screenshot, new phones will give you basic options like cropping and mark-up, or, in some cases, more advanced options like taking a continuous scrolling screenshot before you save it. While I've had some need to use the screenshot editing window since it launched, I can't imagine it being anywhere near as handy as the text version Google seems to be working on. 

Here's a situation I've been in many times, and perhaps you have been too. You quickly tap to select some text, then copy and paste it only to find you've selected too much, or have missed a letter or two at the end. This feature should allow me to catch any errors like that before pasting, which would save me a lot of frustration.

The only problem is that, like with the screenshot editing option, you only have a limited time to open the editing window before the pop-up disappears. That feels like it would be enough time to catch an obvious mistake and fix it, but I'd have to try this feature out myself to be certain. It may depend on how fast you can scan through what you've copied, which, unlike a screenshot that always comes out as a fixed size, could be too much to quickly parse during that window.

There's more to discover in Android 13's first public beta though. There are also more specific permissions for which types of data different apps can access, or the ability to access your smart home gear without unlocking your phone. You can try these out for yourself now if you have a Pixel phone you don't mind exposing yourself to potentially buggy code, or you can wait until later this year for the full version. Google will likely give us a full timeline for future betas and public availability at Google I/O next month.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.