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OpenClip to add app-to-app iPhone copy-and-paste

updated 11:00 am EDT, Wed August 20, 2008

OpenClip iPhone project

A developer believes he has created a way for copy and paste functions to work on the iPhone without violating Apple's SDK agreement. Zac White has started a non-profit, open-source project named OpenClip, from which developers can borrow framework for their own apps. Programs with the technology should not only be able to copy and paste internally, but between each other; this works through saving selections to a shared space on an iPhone. All applications are able to access this space, and there is no need for processes to be running in the background.

The key to making OpenClip successful is claimed to be adoption, as only apps with the framework can utilize its functions. The more apps that utilize the framework, the greater the capabilities. Eight apps are currently expected to support OpenClip; these include Dial Zero, Cocktails, American History, Ultralingua, Roget's Thesaurus and Wall Street Worlds. The remaining two apps -- Twittelator and MagicPad -- are already out, but should soon be given an OpenClip update.

White describes the framework as an interim fix, meant to satisfy until Apple adopts a system-wide version. Apple has stated that copy and paste is a low priority.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Copy/paste violates SDK??

    functions to work on the iPhone without
    > violating Apple's SDK agreement.

    Please post the quote from the SDK that says "we are forbidden from ever doing any cut/paste operation".

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They don't say it violates the SDK, they say it violates the SDK agreement. You know, the NDA you have to sign, saying developers are forbidden to talk to each other about software. So trying to get two apps to support copy/paste would require communication between developers, which isn't allowed.

    Now I'm not even sure that the SDK allows open source, which also, in theory, violates the discussion rule, and might be another concern.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Violates

    "So trying to get two apps to support copy/paste would require communication between developers..."

    Technically, the communication should be through Apple, who "should" in turn provide the framework that allows copy/paste between ALL applications. Otherwise, you would likely wind up with a freakish hodgepodge of applications that read and write only the formats those specific applications support, in a manner only those applications support.
    At the most basic level, we're probably just talking about copying strings, but graphic elements, and code snippets, and formatting preservation, and...

    I agree though, that registered developers should be able to talk about their projects with their peers in the iPhone SDK space just like developers for Apple's OS and hardware solutions.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good things come...

    to those who wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. And believe me, I don't want to see Apple rushing anymore iPhone firmware. They'd better take the time to check it twice before sending it out. The media is having a field day with Apple.I'd really like to see Apple's iPhone To Do list priorities. See if the copy/paste framework is even in the top ten.

  1. coldfusion1970

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Whats the rush?

    I dont understand why this project even exists.
    Apple are aware that we need copy&paste on the iPone/iPod and have already said that its on their todo list.

    Whats the point of this kludge which will take time and energy to be manually implemented by each developer, when Apple will provide proper system wide support shortly.

  1. Gee4orce

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Breaks the UI ?

    I think in order for a normal text field to support this (ie as in Magic Pad) you have to totally replace Apple's default text controls. Which means you loose the auto-correction of the keyboard. Which makes it totally useless...

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