Apple working on iPhone Copy, Paste (and how it could be implemented)

“Apple is aware of the desire for [Cut, Copy, Paste on iPhone] and it is working on it in the labs as we speak,” Sven Rafferty reports for SvenOnTech.

“The trouble it is having is implementation. How to easily call up a copy or cut option and then the paste action. It’s probable that the zoom bubble (the one that brings up the edit cursor) is the issue as it has removed the obvious tap and hold position from Apple to use for a pop-up menu of some sort. Text selection is another difficulty to sort out,” Rafferty reports.

“Certainly, the cursor could be added to the menu selection; however, Apple wants to keep this as simple as possible and that added step would not lend itself to simple,” Rafferty reports. “My source would not give me any details other than to say that it has been working on the solution for some time and that there was no immediate release for it. So at best, we can hope that the interface hurdle will be leaped over very soon.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dirty Pierre le Punk” for the heads up.]

In a recent email to Chris Pirillo, Brendan Sheehan suggests:

You know the magnifying loupe on the iPhone? Well to bring that up (as you know) you hold your finger down for about 1/2 a second at any point in a text box. Here’s the clever part… when you find the position where you want to start your Copy & Paste at you simply freeze, you hold that position (with loupe present) for about 1.5 seconds and the “navy” text selector within the loupe changes color to “green” (or any other color) right before your eyes. A subtle yet obvious clue that something is happening (i.e. hint hint iPhone user, you are now in select mode).

At this point all you have done is positioned the loupe and held it still for 1.5 seconds. So far so good.

Now, while your finger remains on the screen with the loupe present (as you would do with your mouse) you drag the text selector to the end of the piece of text you want, and you leave go.. and up pops all the clipboard options you’ll ever need; Copy, Cut, Paste, Delete etc. You choose an option and you’re done.

And when you want to Paste some copied text or a URL or something, you bring up the loupe and position it where you like, hold it for 1.5 seconds until the text selector turns green, and instead of dragging you just leave go and choose Paste for the pop up options.

Full article here. offered this possibility way back in August:

iPhone Copy and Paste from lonelysandwich on Vimeo.


  1. Now … that’s an obvious way of doing things. Guess you need to be highly conversant in both iPhoneOSX and Mac OSX in order to catch that little detail.
    Hello, Apple? If this is a “full OSX”, maybe it ought to be a bit more compatible with the previous and alternate versions of OSX?
    Sorry, while Sven is technically “wrong” about this, I can easily understand how well over 90% of iPhone users could be similarly “wrong”. Heck, I just read the ‘tip’ and I’m not sure I could manage this the first (or second, or even third) try.

  2. I think I have the solution to this problem…

    How about when you press down on the screen and the magnifying glass appears, hold it down for one more second longer and then it turns into a cursor which you can then highlight the text to copy and paste?

    To then copy the selected text you tap once and to paste you tap twice.

    Apple – if you use this idea you can pay me in Apple Hardware ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Scew the loupe, screw the pinching, screw the addition of copy/paste to the iPhone.

    Just redesign the whole thing and get it right this time.

    iPhone II *hurray!!*

    And for christsake, ditch the assine glossy displays on the Mac’s. Or at least give seasoned pros the option of matte finish on all product lines.

    I’m tired of not being able to see parts of the computer screen and crappy film glare filters totally suck on such nice equipment.

  4. What about this:

    Put 2 fingers down on the screen and hold it. This causes 2 loupes to come up, as well as a small menu to appear at the bottom of the screen that gives you the option of ‘cut’ ‘copy’ or paste. These loupes do not go away when you lift your fingers off the screen. You can then position the first loop at the start of text you want to select and the second loop at the end of the text. Once you have made your text selection, you choose an action on the menu at the bottom of the screen. Tap anywhere else on the screen to cancel the mode.

  5. hahaha!! that video is hilarious! and I think that might be a great way to do copy/paste… i’m really ready for it that’s for sure.

    i’ve actually thought of it being done in a similar way to the way you described also. something like simply tapping with 2 fingers, then spreading them over the text to highlight what you want to copy. only problem with my way is the whole zooming aspect of the iphone os. ah well, i’m sure apple will figure it out sooner or later.

  6. What about search function? If I want to find out when I scheduled something, I have to go hunting through the Calendar or go back to my Mac. Hopefully search functionality will accompany cut and paste.

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