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Smart Selection feature on Android now offers a handy unit conversion shortcut

By Nadeem Sarwar December 29, 2020, 6:10 pm
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For a person who often gets stuck in currency conversion while writing articles or confusing weight while putting a recipe to work in the kitchen, I often turn to a quick Google Search for unit conversion. However, it is nothing short of hassle opening a new tab in a web browser or a conversion app on my phone, and then manually entering the values that I need to be converted. Thankfully, Android’s Smart Selection tool has gained a handy unit conversion shortcut that will make life a tad easier for folks like me.

First spotted by the folks over by Android Police, the new Smart Selection feature lets you do a unit conversion in a jiffy. All you have to do is select the text and tap on the ‘convert’ option that appears in the toolbar above. However, it is unclear when exactly this tool was added to the arsenal of Smart Selection.

Once you tap on the convert button, you are taken to the conversion window in the Google app. You don’t have to enter any number here, as the value you initially selected will automatically appear converted in a different unit here. For example, if you selected $10 while reading an article on Chrome browser, the conversion window will already have that number fed in one of the boxes in the Google app. All you have to do is select the currency from the drop-down menu in the corresponding box where the converted value appears.

So far, I’ve tested this feature on phones running Android 10 and 11, and it works just fine. As for the units of conversion, I tried currency, temperature, mass, volume, and time conversion, and the response has been positive so far. It even converted the amount of an ingredient from teaspoon to a tablespoon, and cup into tablespoons for recipes.

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However, if you are trying something more scientific such as the amount of work in Joule or force applied in Newton, the unit conversion tool doesn’t appear in the Smart Selection toolbar. Another inconvenience is that the unit conversion window opens in the Google app. So, if you’re reading an article in the Google app, you’ll be taken to the unit conversion window on a new page, but performing the back gesture doesn’t return you to the original article, and instead takes you to the Google app’s home page.


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