Copy and paste functionality on the iPhone is a dream that Apple has thus far failed to fulfill. As such, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the formation of OpenClip.org, a group that came up with a way to do copy and paste on the device across multiple applications. Unfortunately, Apple has sent OpenClip a wake up call.
The upcoming iPhone and iPod Touch 2.1 software update will kill OpenClip’s method for doing copy and paste, the company confirmed on its site. OpenClip worked by using a common, shared area on the device to store data cut or copied from one program to paste it into another. Apple is now cutting off access to that area.
OpenClip doesn’t believe Apple is cutting off access to the area specifically to block them, and doesn’t rule out that the company could still open access to the area once again before the final version of the 2.1 software goes out. That is unlikely however. The method was executed using what is basically a loophole. And even if used for good, is still a loophole — you can bet someone with malicious intent would eventually exploit it.
So what now?
Though this has to be terribly deflating for OpenClip.org, the group claims that it can utilize either the Address Book on the device or a remote server to keep copy and paste functionality intact. Neither, unfortunately, will work as well as the current solution.
It’s a shame too, as the company added more pledged applications since the unveiling of the solution just last week.
All of us may have to suck it up and wait for Apple to launch its own copy and paste — which will come eventually, it’s just a question of when.
Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics.
Fill out our 5-minute survey
, and we'll share the data with you.