Apple's 2.1 Update Shuts Down OpenClip Copy-and-Paste

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 25, 2008

Only a few days ago, we covered OpenClip, an open source copy-and-paste system designed to fill in for the complete absence of one on Apple's iPhone. Now, in one of the fastest kill shots in recent memory, Apple has shut it down with its new 2.1 firmware. OpenClip's founder has some interesting thoughts on the whole kerfuffle.

As users of the iPhone and iPod Touch know, there is no system-wide way to copy and paste information between applications, and people who own these devices are using a whole lot of applications. OpenClip positioned itself as a way to do so, seeking to get community support for building it into applications.

Without delivering any copy-and-past functionality of its own, Apple's 2.1 firmware now breaks OpenClip, as its founder discusses here. As the post clarifies, while you can no longer copy and paste between applications with OpenClip, you can still use it as a way to copy and paste within individual applications. But that's not why people were welcoming OpenClip.

Why has Apple chosen not to support such a useful idea? OpenClip was designed not to defy Apple's SDK. It made no use of what the SDK called "shared resources" and played by the rules.

OpenClip's author says "by debuting this framework, I hope to convince Apple that NSPasteboard or a similar API is needed on the iPhone." There absolutely should be cut-and-paste for the iPhone applications, and it was good to see open source come to the rescue. Oh well.