Not too long ago, Proximi gave iPhone users a glimpse of how copy and paste could work on their handsets with the release of MagicPad. Unfortunately, the copy and paste functionality only went as far as the limitations of Apple’s SDK allowed; while you could copy from one MagicPad document to another, you couldn’t copy from a MagicPad document to Safari. It wasn’t exactly what iPhone users were looking for, but it was the start of something awesome.
Shortly after releasing MagicPad, Proximi released a proposal video for a cross-application copy and paste system. This inspired a developer named Zac White to start OpenClip, a non-profit and open-source project aimed at putting as big of a dent in the app-to-app copy/paste problem as possible without breaking the rules of Apple’s SDK.
So how does it work? From OpenClip’s FAQ:
“OpenClip utilizes a shared space on the iPhone. Applications that use the OpenClip framework can access this common area to write to and read from, allowing copy / paste between participating apps.”
By implementing the OpenClip framework, any developer can add Copy/Paste functionality to their own applications. Sure, it’s still not a perfect solution — It only works between the applications which have been OpenClip-enabled (read: not Safari), and no one’s really sure if Apple’s going to be too pleased with what could be considered a loophole — but a handful of developers are already standing behind the project, and more will undoubtedly sign up as word gets out.
If nothing else, this might just push Apple to consider copy/paste as high of a priority as much of their userbase does.