iPhone Software 2.2: Apple working to reinvent Copy and Paste?

“With the iPhone v2.1 software out of the door, Apple is hard at work on v2.2. From this first glimpse it looks like Apple, now the major bugs have been squashed, is adding some new features,” Charlie Sorrel writes for Wired.

“Of course, there’s still no mention of Copy and Paste, a seemingly ridiculous omission from such a powerful device. But I have a theory: Apple won’t ever put it in, at least not in the form we currently know,” Sorrel writes. “The iPhone model is quite different from that of a proper computer. In a Mac or PC, you use the operating system to act on files, be they pictures, emails or text documents”

“The iPhone works more like iTunes, where each application takes care of its own files and what you can do with them… It’s possible that Apple is taking so long to implement copy and paste not because it is difficult, but because Apple is reinventing it,” Sorrel writes. “Imagine a system-wide menu added to all applications which, instead of shuffling items off to a clipboard, lists all the places you can send that file (or text string). This would be like the existing ‘Open with’ option available in the Mac’s right-click menu — each application effectively reports to the OS exactly what kind of files it can handle and the OS remembers this.”

Sorrel writes, “Technically, this still uses a ‘clipboard’ stack to store items temporarily, but the user experience changes to fit the iPhone’s one-open-app-at-a-time paradigm.”

More in the full article – recommended – here.


  1. You technically don’t right click on a Mac though. You Control-Click or apply your secondary button.

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  2. I’d really like a button combo that locks the screen in vertical or horizontal modes… like the home button with a click of the down volume key. That way when using an app horizontally laying on the couch or in bed and moving the iPhone around a bit does not cause the screen to change. It could be a Preferences item like the home button functions are.

    copy and paste are interesting, but not terrifically necessary to me so far.

  3. Mighty mouse doesn’t have a right button. It only has a single button; however, it can sense the pressure on the left side of the surface. When that pressure is missing, the click is interpreted as a secondary click.

    Macs (or mighty mice) don’t have a right-click. That is a Windows concept. In the Mac universe, it is called a secondary click. Keep in mind, lefties (1 in 9 people on the planet) use the left side of the mouse button for this secondary click.

  4. $5 rent-a-phone at CVS has a camera & sends MMS.

    $600 iPhone does not support MMS. When someone sends you a photo from their phone, it gives you a text message containing a URL with a long random string of characters.

    Which you can’t click to access the URL directly.

    And you can’t copy/paste.

    So you get a piece of paper and a pen and write it down and go to the browser and type it all out on your little teeny tiny meta keyboard which keeps trying to correct your atrocious spelling.

    Or you shrug and say “sorry, my phone of the future can’t handle what your piece of shit 2001 phone can do.”

    It. Is. Embarrassing.

  5. Most of the programming needed is already in the feature whereby you save an image. All they need do is impliment a process to capture the part of the image ie text and or image and touch to copy and a manner in which to paste. sounds easy Iknow it’s not, but it seems like its right under their nose.

  6. While it seems easy, it’s so important a feature that it can’t be rushed.

    I think John Gruber of Daring Fireball addressed it, that the whole C&P;technique has not changed in over 20 years in computing. Any implementation has to have the forethought that it might be the way it will be done for the next 20+ years. It has to be done right. That takes time.

  7. I don’t care how it’s done, it shouldn’t take this long.

    We already got the answer when Apple said they didn’t see it as a top priority. You can bet that if they believed the world was clamoring for copy & paste, it would be there by now.

    Same with MMS, a universal landscape keyboard and many other things. Apple doesn’t give a fuck. It helps to have a loud cult following that’s quick to make excuses for any shortcomings with your products.

  8. The fact that Apple doesn’t mention copy and paste is one of the best indicators it will come. Apple likes to pleasantly surprise. Now bring on text forwarding, pic MMS support, and video chat!!! WTF!

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