Software developer Zac White is trying to fill in one of the biggest holes that Apple’s (AAPL) left in its iPhone operating system — missing copy and paste functions — via an open-source project called OpenClip. But while White’s effort is noble, it’s not going to work. And iPhone developers shouldn’t waste their time with it.
Why not? We’re sure there are technical or user interface-related reasons to avoid OpenClip, but we’ll leave that for someone else to explain. Most important: Unless Apple blesses and adopts it, which they probably won’t, it’s useless.
What OpenClip promises — copy and paste between all iPhone applications that use its framework — is a fine idea. And it’s neat that multiple developers are playing with OpenClip. But the most important iPhone apps, such as the phone dialer, Safari, email, and SMS, are created by Apple.
So for copy and paste to work in those apps, Apple would have to like it and install OpenClip’s code. Which won’t happen. Why not? Because it’s Apple’s platform — they’ve been very clear about that — and we have no doubt that they’ll be the ones deciding how copy and paste works on their phones — not some community collective.
So at best, it’s a lame-duck, hodgepodge set of code — not something to invest any energy on.
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