It’s that time of year again when Apple previews their next major update to the iPhone OS. Apple managed to undermine Sprint’s Palm Pre webcast last week by announcing the iPhone OS 3.0 on the same morning that Palm and Sprint had expected to have the hype-machine all to themselves.
Today, Apple took us on a nice little tour through iPhone OS 3.0′s planned feature-set. And, after some slow-and-steady application demonstrations, Apple got to the meat of the presentation with a bang. The iPhone will soon have official copy-and-paste support in the iPhone 3.0 OS!
iPhone users have been clamoring for the cut/paste functionality that just about every other smartphone on the planet (as well as jailbroken iPhones) has been enjoying for, well, a really long time. Apple’s announcement of copy/paste on the iPhone OS 3.0 is something of a milestone in the iPhone’s development. It seems Apple needed a couple years to finally mature the iPhone OS to the point where it doesn’t draw derision from hardcore smartphone users.
The iPhone OS 3.0 copy/paste feature is dead simple, but then again, we didn’t really expect any less from Apple. A simple double tap in a text area highlights a block of text and offers the user a choice of “Cut,” “Copy” or “Paste.” The highlighted text box provides drag-points to expand or reduce the highlighted text selection. Since Safari zooms in and out using the double-tap paradigm, copying text in the iPhone Safari browser requires a long-press (press-and-hold). Safari automatically determines what block of text you’re interested in (the same way it determines how to zoom in on a webpage) and highlights that block of text. The drag-points allow you to customize how much of the text you want to copy, paste or cut.
What happens when you make a mistake or want to repeat a text-paste? You shake the iPhone, of course. The iPhone’s integrated accelerometers detect the shaking motion and prompts the user to “Undo Paste,” “Redo” or “Cancel” the correction/addition of text. Unfortunately, it isn’t clear just how much you’ll have to shake the iPhone to trigger the “undo” prompt – we’d imagine an iPhone user trying to “redo” a text-paste a handful of times would look like an iPhone-shaking madman to passersby.
Look for the official iPhone copy/paste functionality to go live with the iPhone 3.0 OS in June!
Image credit: EngadgetMobile