Why Apple is taking its time with cut-and-paste.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by kavika411, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. kavika411 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    Yes, this thread may go the wayside of the Wasteland, but that is nothing new to me. With that admission, I've had just enough coke-and-a-smiles to make this brilliant declaration. I simply want to memorialize my brilliance.

    Let it be declared that this is the reason Apple hasn't released cut-and-paste...

    Yes, Apple makes mistakes. But not often. Rather, Apple works very hard not to mistakes. In fact, Apple works very, very hard to avert future mistakes and, even at a minimum, future-short-sightedness.

    Ergo [if that is how you spell that word], "cut-and-read." Any hack can make cut-and-paste. [No, I can't myself, but apparently it's nothing that can't be done by some dude going to college classes and sorority mixers.]

    So why, do we ask, why won't Apple roll out basic cut-and-paste, or copy-and-paste. Ask no further; Apple will roll out something that has - at a minimum - cut and/or copy-and-paste but, more importantly, give you a third option of highlighting the selected text and, whether it be form of a web page, an email, a word document, a text message, etc., and will r-e-a-d it to you so that you can continue driving, riding the train or whatever you are up to.

    Again, I've had a couple of cocktails, and almost expect to be sentenced to the Wasteland. I simply want credit when Steve emails MacRumors and says, who was the genius (no pun intended) who figured out my master plan, because I want him to be my successor. And with that, I wish everyone a good night.
  2. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    The reason why Apple will probably never implement copy and paste is due to the fact that there is no easy way to implement it. Apple is all about simplicity. When copy and paste will be implemented, Apple will have to come up with some hand gesture, which could trigger other things to happen, or it would just be too complicated for some people. It's the way it's going to be sadly. Apple rather maintain it's simplicity than throw in functions everywhere for every app.
  3. rsk137 macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
    I'm not sure why everyone is in a mass hysteria about copy and paste. I am honestly curious to know what people need to copy and paste on a daily basis that they can not complete any other way.

    Maybe Apple doesn't see C&P as a critical function that the iPhone needs, or simply thinks that the alternatives to C&P are sufficient enough for the iPhone users of the world. We may never know why Apple does what it does. :(

    Textguru looks like a great little app that you can cut and paste (within the app of course) and do all sorts of other things.

    See here, for rest of article.

    While there probably will never be a true replacement, there are a couple alternatives =/
  4. hierobryan macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    hey OP...I thought you were gonna tell us why Apple hasn't released cut & paste.:confused:
  5. kavika411 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    Based upon the above three posts, I didn't do a good job of making my point. My apologies. [No sarcasm. My apologies, seriously.]

    Apple is often NOT the first to market. BUT, Apple is often first to market with something so brilliant and delicious (to quote Seinfeld) that it seems Apple is the first to market.

    My point is that Apple is w-a-i-t-i-n-g to roll out cut-and-paste until it can do so in a fashion that changes the landscape. Enter ... cut-and-read. You highlight text. What do you want to do next? Have it copied, have it cut'ed, or perhaps have it read to you?

    I'm not suggesting Apple is about to create cold fusion. My point is that when Apple takes its time with something, it's because they are a very wicked step ahead of the rest of us. I believe that step ahead on this particular issue is the ability to highlight and have Alex, or Sarah or whichever OSX voice you like read it to you so that you can carry on your business. Sounds simply, eh, but I don't think it is. Would be pretty cool, in a sly Apple kind of way.

    That's all. Carry on.
  6. rsk137 macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
    I dunno. It's not like Apple is new to this or anything.


    They could indeed be implementing some neat feature or gesture to get this rolling, but they have done this before so I wonder what the hold up could be
  7. mavis macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 3G (16GB, 2.1 PWNed): Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

    I don't need copy/paste on a daily basis, but when I DO need it, it's annoying as hell that it's not there.

    Anyway, I hope they add it soon.
  8. vibribbon macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    Just to give Apple credit where due, they have already solved this problem. The Apple Newton had a perfect implementation of copy and paste that worked with stylus or finger. It was elegant and powerful.

    1-hold your finger down at the start of some text for a full second until you hear a chirp sound and see a little blob of 'highlight' color under your finger tip

    2-drag your finger across the text you want to copy; this draws a line of colored highlighting across the text, then lift finger

    3-drag the now highlighted block of text to the screen edge where it sticks as a little 'post-it' tab (this made a cool sound too)

    4-go to another app, and drag the little post it tab from the screen edge to where you want to the text to go

    Super awesome Newton bonus features, unmatched in any handheld OS interface since:

    -as above, but don't drag through words on one line, instead drag over one word, then cut down through multiple lines and finish by sliding over the last word you want, selecting the whole paragraph!

    -do the above more than once! it was a multi-clipboard and you could have 3 or 4 of those post it stubs (copied text chunks) at one time

    -this method could be modified by tap-then-drag instead of just drag to cut instead of copy; similarly tap-then-drag when pasting let you control whether you pulled the copied text off of the screen edge for good (ie paste and clear clipboard) or if it left it behind so you could paste it again.

    Don't get me started on how much the Springboard is like the Newton app drawer, and how the Newton had better features!
  9. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    For people not coming from other smartphones, I can understand why the lack of copy/paste may not be a big deal. But those of us who have grown used to the ease and convenience of that function can't imagine why it isn't available. The more you use the iPhone as a PDA and work device, the more the lack of copy/paste is a glaring omission.

    And btw, having it on one application, i.e. TextGuru, while nice, isn't really the point.
  10. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    To answer the question i believe the only reasonable answer is to "get it done right" and what i mean by that is that the iPhone has no contextual menu's and very few buttons so making a easy to use cross application copy and paste is not going to be a easy task without a lot of leg work getting it right.
  11. fastbite macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    I don't believe that implementing cut and paste is NOT a problem for Apple. The reason in my opinion is that they will implement it in a more 'tablet' like product, but not in the iPhone.
  12. BongoBanger macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    Perhaps. Any other touch based smartphone allows you to select text by simply dragging your finger over it then holding down the screen to bring up a menu to select 'copy'. All you do to paste is select where you want it to go and put gentle pressure on the screen again so the menu pops up.
    The problem here is that you need a resisitance based touchscreen not a capacitive one like the iPhones' which doesn't detect pressure variances.

    In saying that there are a number of workarounds here which would make this easy enough - length of contact, etc. Not sure the 'get it right' angle works for that reason.
  13. Motley macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2005
    My sentiments exactly.
  14. wolfpackfan macrumors 68000

    Jun 10, 2007
    Cary, NC
    I never use the Notes app, but if there was an easy way to cut and paste information from emails into Notes, I'd use it all the time. What bothers me is why people feel like if it's a feature they don't see a use for, then obviously no one else needs it either.
  15. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
  16. ishopukisfake macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2008
    it seems the option is in conflict with the current function the phone has when you touch any text word, the magnifying placement feature. So they need to find a way to highlight a word differently. double tap a word maybe
  17. Riemann Zeta macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    ^^ Exactly. I think copying/pasting would actually be a bitch to implement on the iPhone. Considering that touch and hold is already devoted to (relatively inaccurate) cursor placement, I don't see how cut and paste would be all that trivial. I've read descriptions of how people think it would be implemented and none of them seem all that elegant and most would require quite an intense OS rewrite.

    I'm not saying it wouldn't be a useful feature. What I am saying is that it seems hard to pull off--we'd need a new UI gesture and a new OS framework to support a 'contextual menu' or secondary-click and also some way of highlighting text one character at a time that the phone could differentiate (input-wise) from the hold-and-scroll method of dropping the cursor with the magnifier. It is a little easier on Windows CE 5 devices because they require the use of a pen and a physical digitizer, which allows for much more defined, high definition input than a capacitive screen, where one's (relatively) massive finger might be contacting up to 10% of the overall screen surface area.
  18. markgamber macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2005
    Redneck, PA
    They'll add copy/paste when Jobs needs copy/paste, not a second before. What you and I want makes no difference to Apple.
  19. BergerFan macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2008
    Mos Eisley
    It's not as if Apple is oblivious to the majority of the major issues. They listened with regard to the 1st gen's recessed headphone jack. They listened with regard to not being able to send an SMS to multiple people at once. They listened with regard to putting a search option in Contacts.
    I'm sure (as some have already stated), that it's exactly how to do it in a satisfying and classy way, which is the reason why it hasn't been done yet.
  20. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
    Copy and paste could be used the same way you download a photo.

    You put your finger on the word, and then it says copy/cut. If you keep your finger on that word, you can use the volume control to select more (so more words).

    Then to paste you hold on the screen, and then you get a message allowing you to paste.. :D
  21. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    That's interesting. I've never thought about using the volume buttons. I'm not sure it would fly, but I like the way you think. :)
  22. rsk137 macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
    I simply can't think of too many reasons why people would need to have copy and paste. I see your point from the example you mentioned but it seems that just opening up the mail app would be equally as effective. I'm not saying that it shouldn't be implemented or anything like that, I just want to know why everyone is complaining about it when, with my daily use, I never even think about copy and paste. That's all.
  23. markgamber macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2005
    Redneck, PA
    I use it all the time on my Tilt. Copy a URL from the browser to an email or document and send to a coworker. All the time. Several times a day. It's a large reason why my iPhone sits on a desk with no sim while the Tilt is with me at all times and why I don't consider the iPhone a "professional" phone.
  24. pj rage macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2008
    I've found the need for copy/paste a few times so far. First, for copying addresses that I find on web pages and emails to maps for directions. This one is key. They could alleviate this for me if they automatically smart linked any addresses in "normal" address form.

    And second, for copying and paste urls that are not hyperlinked into safari. I've run across a few on the web, and they are nothing less than a ridiculous PITA to keep switching back and forth with a new tab to type it in. Also, mms messages on AT&T are not hyperlinked and you must keep referring to (or write down, which is ridiculous) the information to log in and view the message. They could alleviate both of these by either implementing mms, or working with AT&T (or parsing as received) to hyperlink the view message details.

    There are probably other things I've found and forgotten, but those stand out for me, the first more than the second. And I'm sure other people have other needs for copy/paste that I've never even thought of. I mean, I don't do this ever/often, but it would be nice to be able to copy some info from the web and paste it into an email. Perhaps you look up the address for a store/restaurant/etc and want to email it to your friends/guests/whatever.

    I think apple could implement some "work-arounds" for many of the functions people want copy/paste for, but it would be *easier* to cover EVERYTHING by just offering copy/paste.

    I truly believe that the reason we don't have it is because apple thinks apple knows best, and apple doesn't think we need copy/paste. And they're right, really, MOST people would probably never use it, or would only use it once in a blue moon. I would probably be one of those people, even though I see some obvious uses for it. But that still doesn't justify leaving it out, IMO. At any rate, we may eventually see it, but I'm not holding my breath.
  25. rsk137 macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Thanks for a few examples. The only one I could think of is the need to copy and paste one of those extrodinarily long website links. Maybe C/P is for some and unfortunately I think that pj rage is right about what he said about "Apple knows best"

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