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iPhone Copy-And-Paste Gets Closer

erku's picture

One of the most popular "feature asks" for the iPhone is copy-and-paste functionality. Right now, it simply doesn't exist. Until Apple puts it higher on its priority list (obviously crashing apps and iPhone 3G connectivity come first), it's going to remain a sought-after missing feature.

The folks over at the OpenClip project seem to be getting close to a solution, however. OpenClip saves copied text into a shared memory area within the iPhone’s memory, which can then be accessed by OpenClip APIs.

Naturally, it's not as elegant as if it were built-into the OS, but if an application adopts OpenClip's framework, it is workable.

What are the roadblocks that have previously prevented this functionality? Well, as OpenClip says:

You can see Open Clip being demoed on below.

"Applications are not allowed to run in the background. This means that once the text is copied from an application, leaving the application to paste in another will close the clipboard where the text was being held.

"Also, due to Apple's sandbox effect, developers cannot create plug-ins to interact with other applications.

Since OpenClip is a framework, if apps adopt it, they can get around these issues. The list of developers current committed to the project include Dial Zero, Twittelator, Wordpress, Cocktails, Ultralingua, American Heritage, Roget's Thesaurus, and Wall Street Words.

OpenClip admits this is a temporary fix, but as it says:

"While just an interim fix until Apple adopts a system-wide version, OpenClip hopes to add to the iPhone user-experience and provide a working case-study for Apple, hopefully allowing them to roll-out their version more quickly.

Reported by Tech Ex

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