OpenClip: Universal Copy and Paste for the iPhone

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 20, 2008

One of the chief complaints among iPhone and iPod Touch owners has been the lack of a system-wide way to copy and paste content. Apple's SDK forbids application developers to create plug-ins for direct collaboration between applications, and aggressively polices how developers can make use of system resources running in the background. There is a workaround application created for this problem, MagicPad, but it has has the major limitation of only allowing copy and paste within the application itself. Now, as VentureBeat discusses, there is an open source application, OpenClip, that can enable system-wide copy and paste--if it gets community support.

For a good video explaining how OpenClip, from, works, check out Cali Lewis' demonstration of the application, and information on how it was created. As Lewis notes, Apple has said that it is working on a clipboard feature for the iPhone, but has not made it a high priority (and Apple has had problems with its MobileMe service and the iPhone 3G emerge as priorities). is an open source effort, and it depends on support from application developers to succeed. Many applications already support it, including WordPress, Twittelator, Dial Zero and others. It uses shared space, outside the common resource space that Apple's SDK protects, to facilitate copy and paste.

OpenClip is a step beyond MagicPad, for sure, and iPhone and iPod Touch owners are downloading boatloads of applications, especially since so many of them are free. OpenClip looks like a good interim copy and paste solution until Apple can get beyond its other problems and deliver this important piece of functionality.