Pastebud to bring cut and paste to iPhone

The new Web service promises to let iPhone users carry on with cutting and pasting. So far, though, all we have is the YouTube demo.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon
2 min read

A new Web service called Pastebud will soon let iPhone users copy and paste text from Safari into e-mail messages and between Web pages.

Since the iPhone was launched 18 months ago, many users have complained about its lack of cut and paste capabilities. Users were once again disappointed when the iPhone 3G debuted in July with that same omission.

Third parties have tried to create applications to add cutting and pasting to the iPhone, but most have failed. One such application called OpenClip, seemed promising earlier this year. But Apple's iPhone 2.1 software, released in late summer, shut down the functionality.

Pastebud's Web site hasn't launched yet, but its creators have put a demonstration of the service on YouTube. And it looks like Pastebud might avoid pitfalls of other cut and paste developers. For one, Pastebud is a Web-based service. This means that users don't have to download software onto their iPhones. It also means that Pastebud can bypass Apple's App Store altogether.

The way it works, according to the YouTube demo, is through bookmarks that allow users to go between Web pages and e-mail. Then users are able to highlight text and hit a button to copy, flip to another page, and hit paste.

The catch is that Pastebud works only with the Safari browser and e-mail. But since those applications are the most likely to need cutting and pasting, it shouldn't be a major limitation.

Of course, it's too early to say how well the application really works. All that's available is the YouTube demonstration. But even if it works moderately well, it could help satisfy some iPhone users clamoring for some kind of cut and paste functionality, at least until Apple comes up with a more elegant solution.

News of the new service was first reported on the gadget blog Gizmodo.