Cut and Paste

Cutting and pasting, who doesn’t take this simple and age-old concept for granted?  Even before the advent of desktop computers, layout artists, armed with X-Acto knives and glue, manipulated text for documents and presentations.  The technique has been used in desktop computers for decades and most PDAs and smartphones also support this function – except for one: the Apple iPhone.  That all changed this past Tuesday.

Once Apple releases iPhone OS 3.0 this summer, iPhone and iPod touch users will be able to select text from one source, for example a flight number in an e-mail, and paste it into another application, an airline’s flight information Web page for example.  Since the introduction of the iPhone, Apple has maintained that it would add cut-and-paste and copy-and-paste functionality once it had developed a user interface worthy of the iPhone.  The feature works by tapping on the text, dragging it to the new location or application, and tapping once again.  To undo, simply shake the iPhone.

Apple is adding other functionality as well, which we’ve covered in this issue and we’ll report on how well this works as soon as it becomes available.  In the meantime, prepare to discard your X-Acto knives.

David M. Goldes is the president of Basex

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