Why doesn't the iPhone have cut & paste?

The lack of cut & paste baffles me. I’m sure they have many other features that are high on their priority list, but this seems like such a basic and simple addition, I assume it would take one of their interns less than a day to add. And yet they are not.

We are now at version 2.2 of their SW, which seems like a ridiculously long time for them to go without this feature.

Do you guys know why they are not adding it?
Do you know if/when they will add it?

LOL you should have posted this in IMHO rather than GQ, as factual ansewers regarding the cupertino ironworks is amusing.

Having said that , I doubt that they are going to add it anytime soon, they have had at least a year to try it in beta if as you say it would only take a half hour for an intern.

I think steve jobs wants to keep the iphone well away from being in the class of windows mobile device and more towards being a lifestyle device.

To me its useless for what I actually do , posting to the dope and other forums is a bitch , since there is no way that I know of to cut blocks if its a long quote to begin with, tap zoom is no where near being useful.

What I want

Give people a reason why it has not been implemented (C&P) and when it will be, or not.

The hardware supports stereo bluetooth, adapt the protocols

Speaking of Bluetooth, where is the obex ???

Landscape mode for everything else , why the secrecy. Either implement it or give folks the reasons why not


There’s no “secrecy” about landscape mode; it’s one of the first topics covered in the iPhone developer documentation. Most application developers are just too lazy to implement it.

I’d just like to have a way to highlight text so I can read spoiler boxes!


Not being able to read the spoiler boxes is annoying.

It amazes me that we cannot read e-mail in landscape mode.

That said someone came out with a free iPhone app to let you write e-mails in landscape mode. Goes some way towards fixing this rather dumb oversight.

EasyWriter for iPhone

In addition to no cut and paste, why is there no MMS? They make you buy the data plan for the iPhone, but don’t let you send and receive data in any form other than email or web browsing. I guess there’s a small workaround in that you get sent a link to a temporary webpage if someone sends you a picture or something, but you can only send pictures as an attachment to an email.

Of course, like most problems and oversights with the iPhone, one can always jailbreak it and install all the third party apps they want that let them cut and paste and use MMS.

The lack of C&P also annoys when you’re trying to create a contact from a phone number that someone’s texted you. Then you have to basically memorise the number.

Texting is a beech, mang. There are so many features that need tweaked, it’s sickening.

Not on my iPhone.
There’s a little arrow next to the message which let’s you add the number as a contact. No memory involved at all.

That works if the number is in the exact format the iPhone is looking for. Here, the iPhone expects a phone number to look like nnnn nnnn. People generally send them as nnnnnnnn. No arrow, no clicky. Sigh.

That’s interesting, because in the US, the iPhone software accepts any 7 or 10 digit string as a valid phone number. If that isn’t working for your locale, I can report it as a bug. Where are you, and can you confirm which strings work and which don’t?

I’ve seen a lot of people stating how simple it would be to implement cut-and-paste on the iPhone, but I haven’t seen anyone go into detail about exactly how it would work. The first part is simple - you put your finger at one end of the text and drag it to the other end. The text is selected. Now what? How do you tell it to cut the text? How do you tell it to copy the text? How do you paste text? Each of these things must be intuitive and not conflict with the existing gestures.

My guess is that we’ll see cut-and-paste functionality when Apple’s engineers find the perfect answers to those questions and they don’t have more important things to do.

I don’t even think the first part is so simple, because that gesture currently means “scroll.”

I saw it demonstrated on GeekbriefTV (#410).

OpenClip. Unfortunately, as programmes cannot run in the background on the iPhone, OpenClip needs to be included as part of the apps themselves.

See that was a perfectly reasonable answer that should have come out on apple letterhead as to why cut and paste is not availabe.

But the bolded part, would it be so hard to drop a memo on what they are working on or not working, and what they are expecting the third party folks to bring to the table.

btw posting this with an ipaq, as the iphone is not quite optimized for interacting on forums.


Its actually available on some third party apps, but it was reputed to have been included in the 2.2 upgrade for sms and email.

What I have heard from reading on hackintosh is that the apple folks don’t want to implement it because of visual issues with the text bubbles in landscape.


Hit the “quote” button in that post and then you can read it on the reply screen, unspoilered (it’ll just have the spoiler tags)

Can you read me now?

But there is a way to do it!

[spoiler]Or not.

This filler text brought to you by the Committee for iPhone Text Highlighting deficiencies and other ways to amuse myself.

end spoiler[/spoiler]

Do it the way Windows Mobile devices do it. After you select the region you want to cut or copy, you then tap again within said highlighted region and hold your finger there. After a second or so, a little context menu pops up with options like “cut/copy/paste/etc…”