iCopy uPaste – User Interaction Prototype

Head on over to CityBlogz Labs section of the website, to check out the latest code iteration of a user interaction model demo that I’m prototyping.  It is a little bit rough around the edges, but it showcases a little bit of how I envision the Copy and Paste to work on the iPhone Safari client.  I will be describing some of the code in detail over the next couple weeks, so stay tuned.

iCopy uPaste

Still no copy and paste for iPhone 2.0. Apple has admittedly said that copy and paste is in the works, but it is not a big priority.  Time to take matters into my own hands by creating a “iCopy uPaste” web service for the iPhone.  I figure it would be a nice side project for me to learn more about iPhone web development and get some exposure in creating a REST-based web service.

The premise is simple.  I want a way for anyone using an iPhone to open a bookmarklet on any Safari web page that activates a hidden dialog menu.  They can select any text from the web page and copy the text to a “Copy and Paste” web service up in the “cloud”.  The user can paste the text on another page’s form input field or somewhere else on the same page.  I can already think of several hurdles such as cross-domain JavaScript, server-related security issues, and iPhone limitations on JavaScript events.  I plan on sharing every morsel of information that I find on my journey and I invite anyone to help.  I will start putting up the code in some form of source control (more on that later).  By the time I’m done, perhaps Apple will already have implemented a nice solution to this problem.

The wonderful part of this idea is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be confined to iPhones.  Creating it as a web service and opening up an API allows any platform that can consume web services to have access to a “cloud-based” Copy and Paste.  Therefore, I can envision native iPhone apps to simply create the following options: “Copy to iCopyuPaste” and “Paste from iCopyuPaste“.  They can hook those events to consume the “iCopyuPaste” web service.  Of course, the down side is that it won’t work if you aren’t immediately connected to the 3G or Edge or Wi-Fi network, but that’s the trade off for copy and paste.  Another use case scenario could be for someone who needs to copy some text from one computer’s browser over to another computer’s browser.  If they needed that text to be pasted into a native app via the system’s clipboard, someone could conceivable use Adobe AIR to create a widget that consumes the “iCopyuPaste” web service and store that text onto the system clipboard, ready to be pasted on any application on the desktop. Thoughts?