Holy Crap, iPhone Gets Real Copy and Paste (For Real This Time)

OMG, Magic
OMG, Magic

I was half asleep, but I had to wake up for this one. At long last, a REAL implementation of copy/paste on the iPhone. It works in every text field. It’s stupid that I’m actually saying this, you’d think copy and paste was a brand new invention, but I’m actually dumbfounded, wallowing in my own joy. It’s called “Clippy” (Yes, like the dreaded MS Office character) and it’s brought to us by iSpazio and Ryan Petrich. It’s jailbreak only, as all good things are, but here’s the procedure: Open Cydia, install “Clippy-Beta.” It couldn’t be easier. It’s somewhat buggy – for example, in sms, you can’t actually SEE what you’re copying/pasting, and the button to return to the main view doesn’t work properly (you have to aim for the bottom left, or the button press does’t work). And it gums up your number keypad. But for copy/paste, I’d do all sorts of things far less desirable than those.

This just changed the “Reasons to jailbreak your iPhone” column into “Reasons you’re dumb as bricks if you don’t jailbreak your iPhone.”

The magic lies here (coral).

UPDATE 6:30am 1/20/09: Lets make a list of bugs, shall we? Add any you notice in the comments and I’ll include them. Here’s my list after the break:

  1. When editing a 1 line text field, the copy/paste bar obscures all the text. Text input is not impossible, but much less convenient. Ideally, when the copy/paste bar is deployed, the bottom of the current UIView should be in line with the top of the bar and not the top of the keyboard.
  2. Sometimes, when in a view that has a parent (there’s what looks like a back button at the top left), particularly in SMS when viewing a message, the button to go to the parent view is difficult to click. In SMS, I have to aim for the bottom left corner of this button or I simply can’t press it.
  3. When copying text from a multi line text field (for example, the field present when forwarding an email), you cannot select multiple lines.
  4. In this same type of field (reproduce by trying to forward an email), you can’t scroll around while selecting text (normally holding the magnifier near the edge scrolls the text field, not true of clippy). Kind of fixed – still a problem if you have to horizontally scroll.
  5. In this same type of feild, the scroll bars are totally misplaced while scrolling normally. The horizontal floats midair, and the vertical is a few widths off.
  6. Uneditible text fields are totally un-selectable. Not sure how you’d even attack that beast, though.

UPDATE: .91 has been released, fixing a number of issues above (2 it seems, 3, 4 kind of). Unfortunately, in text fields that scroll both directions, the bars are still all messed up, and you still can’t select anything not initally on-screen if you have to scroll horizontally to do so. I’ll post a screenshot soon.

UPDATE: It’s the 24th (ok, the 25th at 3am), and I think yesterday .92 was released, fixing some issues people had with .91. As far as I can tell, most of the problems above still exist, so I’m going to jump ship to the new alternative, hClipboard, which I review a couple of posts up, here. I’ll continue to follow clippy, however.

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