iPhone App – Clippy is an Impressive Attempt to bring Missing Copy and Paste Feature to the iPhone

Unfortunately after more than a year and half of iPhone's launch, Copy and Paste is still the most wanted feature whenever there are rumors of Apple planning to release the new firmware update.

In December 2008, a service called Pastebud was released which brought Copy & Paste feature
to the iPhone between iPhone's Safari browser (across tabs) and iPhone's Mail app
. However, it had some privacy concerns.

iPhone developer, Ryan Petrich has just released an iPhone app via Cydia called Clippy which brings the Copy and Paste feature to the iPhone.

We have already seen a neat implementation of the Copy and Paste feature by MagicPad's developers which only had one drawback that was it worked only within the MagicPad application (as expected).

We also have a workaround in the form of iCopy by Preston Monroe who had developed a bookmarklet called iCopy that gives you the ability to copy and paste text or URLs within Safari on the iPhone.

CopierciN was another attempt to bring the missing feature to
iPhone users
, but it did not add copy & paste functionality
directly to other
applications. Its a text editor which also includes an
importer/exporter mechanism which allows iPhone users to import
text from and export text to SMS, Notes and Mail applications.

It is a native iPhone application  that can be installed only on a jailbroken iPhone using Cydia, the installer application for the unofficial iPhone apps (under BigBoss repository, in Utilities section).

As I had mentioned earlier, a service called Pastebud was released last month which brought Copy & Paste feature
to the iPhone between iPhone's Safari browser (across tabs) and iPhone's Mail app. It makes clever use of javascript to bring the copy and paste functionality to the iPhone. However, it had some privacy concerns.

Clippy developed by Ryan Petrich is the latest attempt to bring the missing Copy and Paste feature to iPhone users.

The iPhone app is currently in beta essentially adds copy and paste buttons to iPhone virtual keyboard.

The additional "copy" and "paste" buttons are available when you tap the "@123" button at the bottom left corner of iPhone's virtual keyboard. You can then highlight text from that application using your fingers and use the "copy" button to copy the highlighted text. You can then open any other application where you can use iPhone's virtual keyboard such as the Mail app and paste the copied contents from the clipboard by first tapping the "@123" button and then tapping on the "paste" button. You can disable the "copy" and "paste" buttons by tapping the "@123" button again.



It works very well and the thing I really liked about Clippy was that even though its in beta it was quite stable, it is also the best way to copy a URL from iPhone Safari's address bar as it automatically highlights the URL when you tap on the address bar and all you need to do is tap "@123" to enable the copy and paste buttons and tap on the copy button to copy the URL.



However, the iPhone app has some limitations, you can't copy text from iPhone's Safari or text from an email that you have received as the virtual keyboard does not get enabled. The "copy" and "paste" buttons also ends up covering the text area in case of the SMS app as seen below which is quite inconvenient.


    

But overall its an impressive attempt by Ryan Petrich to bring the Copy and Paste feature to the iPhone. You can install Clippy on your jailbroken iPhone via Cydia.

Update:

Aleksander, one of our readers has some good workarounds to copy text from email and especially SMS. If you want to copy text from an email you have received, then forward the email which will enable iPhone's virtual keyboard and you can then use the "copy" button. Similarly in case of SMS messages instead of using the default SMS app, you can use jailbreak iPhone app biteSMS which allows you to forward SMS which will enable iPhone's virtual keyboard and you can then use the "copy" button. Thanks Aleksander!

What do you think about Clippy? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

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