Android’s Smart Selection feature can help convert between currencies and other units for you
Android’s Smart Selection feature has picked up a helpful new skill: unit conversion.
The feature was requested in Google’s IssueTracker over a year ago and was recently updated in the last few weeks. We noticed an update from mid-December that says the latest Smart Selection models now support currency and unit conversion on Android 9, 10, and 11 (via Android Police).
We haven’t had the opportunity to test the feature on every version of Android where it’s supported, but down below you’ll see a demo of currency conversion on an ASUS ZenFone 7 Pro running Android 11. To convert a currency or measurement, use Smart Selection to select text and there will be a new option that says “convert.” This will bring you to the Google app, where you can then convert it to your desired currency or unit.
Unfortunately, you can’t do the converting without first jumping into another app. It would be nice if once you select the text, you can do everything right there in an overlay. But it’s still a convenient way to convert currencies and units, taking some of the legwork out of the equation. You no longer have to copy the text, search Google, and convert. The process is a little quicker now.
The feature will come in handy as we buckle down across the U.S. for extended lockdown restrictions. For example, you may need to convert units in a recipe.
Android’s Smart Selection feature was first revealed back in 2017 with the release of Android 9 Pie and has been making our lives more convenient since then. The feature can intelligently highlight a phone number and pass it off to the Phone app. That’s just one example of what Smart Selection can do, and it’s about time a unit conversion feature was introduced.
Based on comments in the Issue Tracker, the new feature should work on devices running Android 9 and above, so you should be fine if you own an older device.