This Android Pie guide explains what overview selection in Android Pie is and steps of using this feature.
Please note, overview selection currently is only implemented in the Pixel launcher and works only on Pixel phones (all 3 generations).
What is overview selection in Android Pie?
Overview selection in Android Pie allows you to select text or images from the overview screen directly. You can then paste or share the selected text or images.
Some actions, for example, calling or messaging may also be provided in the overview screen.
For images, Google Lens can be fired to check the image details, in addition to sharing the picture.
The most interesting feature is that the overview selection is not constrained by apps.
For example, you cannot copy some texts like the navigation menu inside the app. Some apps may do not allow you to copy their contents in the browser of the app. But now, in the overview screen, you can copy ALL text as long as they appear on the overview screen.
Of course, as a security feature, some banking apps do not show any contents in the overview screen. In this case, you cannot copy.
The bottom line is that you can copy and share whatever you can see in the overview screen of the app.
In a nutshell, overview selection in Android Pie is an application of smart selection in the overview screen.
Steps of using overview selection in Android Pie
You may follow these steps to use overview selection in Android Pie.
Step 1: Enable overview selection
By default, overview selection is enabled in Android Pie on all Pixel phones.
In case you disabled it, you need to enable this feature before proceed.
As shown in the screenshot below, you can tap and hold (aka long tap) any blank area on the home screen, then tap Home settings.
In the Home screen settings, tap Suggestions as shown above.
Now, you can enable Overview selection as shown below.
Of course, you can also disable it if you want.
Please note. the switch on the right side (and in blue) means the feature is enabled.
You can tap the Recents button to navigate to the Recents screen as shown above.
Of course, you can also use the new Android Pie navigation gestures to navigate to the overview screen.
Step 3: Select text or image
In the overview screen, as shown below, you can select text using the smart selection.
Once the text is selected, the possible actions will be prompted as shown below.
In this tutorial, because the plain text is selected, there are only Copy, Search and Share options.
If you select a phone number, you will get the additional call and messaging options. If you select a web address, the open option will appear.
Similarly, you can select an image (or part of the image) as shown above.
The available options for the selected image in the overview screen is Google lens and Share.
Step 4: Choose actions
Once the text or image is selected, you can then choose one of the actions.
For example, as shown below, if you tap Google Lens, then Google Lens will analyze the selected picture and give you relevant information.
Of course, as shown in the screenshot above, you can also share the picture with other apps.
Why I cannot use overview selection in Android Pie in my phone with Android Pie?
Although the overview selection was announced as one of the Android Pie (Android 9) new features, currently it is implemented only on Pixel phones (Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL).
If you are using other Android Pie phones (including Android One phones), you will not be able to use the overview selection. For example, in Galaxy S10 recents screen, you cannot select text or images.
Can you use the overview selection in Android Pie?
If you have any questions regarding the overview selection feature in Android Pie (Android 9), please let us know in the comment box below.
For questions on Android Pie (Android 9), please check Android Pie guides page.
For questions on Android Oreo (Android 8.0 and 8.1), please check Android Oreo guides page.
For questions on Android Nougat (Android 7.0 and 7.1), please check Android Nougat guides page.
For questions on Android Marshmallow (Android 6.0), please check Android Marshmallow guide page.
For questions on Android Lollipop (Android 5.0 and 5.1), please check Android Lollipop guide page.
For other Android questions or problems, please check Android 101 page.
Please note, this is an owner-help-owner community. If you need official technical support or have warranty/sales related questions, please contact the vendor directly.