Apple iPhone gets a native thrid-party copy/paste app

21 Jan, 2009

Apple iPhone finally receives some copy/paste goodness that works throughout all default applications on the device such as SMS, Mail or Notes. To enable it you need Clippy, a free app distributed via Cydia.

There's a certain catch though and you should have got it by the second we mentioned the unofficial third-party software repository Cydia - your iPhone has to be jailbroken to even have Cydia on board.

Clippy is a third-party piece of software that arms your phone with almost full copy/paste functionality in the default iPhone applications. There are limitations of course - you can only use it in text input boxes where the keyboard is available so you cannot just copy some text off a website you are viewing in Safari browser.

Clippy provides copy/paste capabilities in Notes, Mail, SMS section and the other default native applications. Currently, support for AppStore applications is dodgy at best.

To use Copy/Paste you need to have the keyboard activated, i.e. you have to be in editing mode. Dragging your finger over any portion of the edited text selects it (not a really fluid experience and you lose the cursor dragging functionality).

When you are done selecting, you can find the new Copy/Paste keys on the numeric version of the keyboard (accessible by pressing the ".?123" key).

Clippy application Clippy application Clippy application
Clippy application

The requirement that you should be in editing mode of course has its own limitations too. For example, if you want to copy text from a received email, you have to press Reply to go into editing mode and then use the copy/paste function.

Much the same way you cannot copy text off a received SMS, as you can't forward or edit those.

Other than that, you are not limited to copy/pasting in a single app - you can paste the text to any of the compatible native applications.

Clippy application Clippy application Clippy application
Clippy application

The author Ryan Petrich promises to update the application even further. In fact the software is still considered a beta, and we hope to see a more user-friendly and compatible version out soon.



Reader comments

  • Anonymous

lolz copy android

  • Anonymous

Yes finally Apple has beaten the stoneage caveman who use to carve symbols onto rocks. :-) Welcome to the new world Apple. lol

  • RaZoR

Iphone 3g I hate u :D

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