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OpenClip Is Closed Again

Just a few days ago, we wrote about OpenClip – an open framework for implementing copy and paste on the iPhone. Developer Zac White had found a loophole that allowed for the creation of a shared clipboard, as long as all applications followed the same guidelines. Today, however, Zac announced that the next generation of the iPhone firmware (2.1) will close this loophole. OpenClip will still work within a single application, but sharing between applications is now impossible.

We were quite happy to see that an enterprising developer had found a way to implement copy and paste even before Apple had released it. There is, of course, a good chance that Apple itself will finally implement this very basic functionality in the next firmware update, so OpenClip itself wouldn’t be that useful anymore anyway.

On the other hand, as Zac points out, getting some of this functionality into applications now would definitely help putting some pressure on Apple to release this functionality quickly. After all, there are a good number of applications that just aren’t very useful without being able to copy and paste (blog clients, text editors, email clients, etc.).

Zac also notes that he doesn’t think that Apple is trying to squash OpenClip on purpose, but it does seem as if Apple is creating a bit of a moving target for developers. Given Apple’s penchant for secrecy, every developer who is trying to write an application that gets relatively deep into the OS has to fear that Apple might just close off some necessary functionality without warning.

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