Google’s Pixel devices are always chock-full of exclusive features to rarely make their way to other Android devices. But it does happen from time to time, and one of those exclusive features has just made the leap from Pixels to Asus devices.
The feature in question is the ability to copy and share URLs from Android’s “recents” menu — which is accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen without letting go. Pixel devices have the ability to select text, images and browser URLs, while regular Android phones only have the option to take screenshots. Now the Asus Zenfone 10 is taking a cue from the Pixels.
Apparently Asus has added the feature to its Android 13 release, so it might not be exclusive to its latest smartphone. According to Android Police it’s not quite as extensive as the version you’d find on Pixel phones, and struggles to grab URLs from more than a handful of Google apps. It also looks like the sharing is limited to links, rather than also including images and text.
Despite its limitations, the fact this feature is now available on a phone not made by Google is rather interesting. It just goes to show that Pixel features need not be exclusive, assuming phone makers are willing to put the effort in.
Whether this will start happening with other Pixel-exclusive features isn’t entirely clear. The fact Asus’s take on URL sharing in the recents menu isn’t identical to Google’s suggests this is a home-made endeavor rather than some sort of partnership.
You also have to contend with the fact some recent Pixel features are reliant on a Tensor chipset, which means other phone makers can’t just copy whatever they like.
In the grand scheme of things the option to share URLs from Android’s recents menu isn’t going to be a life-altering feature. But it could prove useful, and save you a little bit of time in a pinch. There’s not much more you can ask for from an update, and let’s just hope other Android phone makers realize they can nab Pixel-exclusive features for themselves.
Frankly, it’s a travesty that more phones don’t come with some kind of auto-transcribing voice recorder app. If you ask me, that’s one of the best Pixel features there is.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.