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Why is copy and past so difficult?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by dylane, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. dylane

    dylane Well-Known Member
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    My last mobile computing device had a really straightforward copy and paste protocol. Tap once and the cursor is inserted there, double tap to select the whole word, triple tap selects the line (or maybe the whole paragraph). To be honest I don't really recall the specifics because it felt pretty much exactly like using a mouse. Once the selection was highlighted I could 1) press the physical menu button on the device, 2) tap and hold would bring up a context menu, 3) if I was in a text entry box and the vkb was visible, I could tap the copy/paste menu on the keyboard. All 3 options would allow me to copy something to the clipboard, and I could copy virtually anywhere in the system (like Windows, system dialog boxes can't be copied, but almost everything else could).

    So now I've moved to Android, which is a much newer and supposedly more advanced OS, and copy and paste is something that doesn't seem to work in any kind of consistent manner. A tap and long hold seems to most the time bring up the text selector tool, but not always. But then when the selector pops up and you want to select more text so you grab the handle on the right side and drag it to the right to get the next word, and all of a sudden the left anchor switches directions and you have a totally different set of text highlighted. Whenever I finally get that straightened out and have the right couple of words highlighted, I then look up and see that my popup bar that is supposed to give me the option to copy the selection is nowhere to be found. If I'm in a context where there is a vkb showing I can try a keyboard shortcut for copy and paste, but sometimes that doesn't succeed in copying to the clipboard, and after spending 20 minutes trying to get it to work I just use a pencil and paper and then rewrite it in whatever app I was trying to paste to.

    Anyone else have these issues? Tips to make copy and paste 100% consistent across the system?
     

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  2. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    It actually depends on how the developer implemented it. So far I've hand no trouble. What app are you trying to use copy paste in? And what device do you have?
     
  3. dylane

    dylane Well-Known Member
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    Galaxy Note 2. I've had trouble in too many apps to remember, but just yesterday I couldn't copy an address out of Gmail into Google Maps, because the toolbar wasn't visible after highlighting the address. And I also had problems trying to copy a URL from either Dolphin or Firefox to the clipboard (again no copy menu, but generally in this situation I can do ctrl+c and have it copy to the clipboard, but that wouldn't work yesterday for some reason.
     
  4. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    You long press on the url bar, then it will highlight the entire url with a pop-up asking if you want to copy, cut or paste. Same thing with Gmail. Longpress on a word, then it will be highlighted with the popup. If you want to select more, drag the handles. I haven't had troubles with the handles though.
     
  5. dylane

    dylane Well-Known Member
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    That's the thing though, it just doesn't seem to have that popup consistently. I just tried again in Gmail, and this time it worked, but for some reason the popup is at the bottom of the screen instead of the top. But I tried again in Firefox and a long press on the URL highlights it and gives me the handle, but no popup and the keyboard shortcut doesn't work. So I have no idea how I would copy a URL from Firefox into another program.
     
  6. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Oh not sure how the FF devs made their app. I don't use it. I'm a Chrome guy.
     
  7. Harry2

    Harry2 Android Expert
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    On the browser I tab short on the URL, it highlights, then I press long on the URL, get a pop up menu and have to choose 'Select all' and then 'Copy'.

    Sounds awkward, but always works :)

    Maybe always works because I use a clipboard app, 'Clipper'.
    Usefully also for editing the clipboard.

    Harry
     
  8. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    i think ... it has to do with patent laws again!!! ios or ms.. has a patent.. that stops other phones from using the same copy paste features. so much BS

    only a guess.
     
  9. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Android Expert
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    +1 on Clipper, but I don’t think it has anything to do with what pops up when you longpress a word, just how copied words are stored and regurgitated.
     
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  10. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert
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    In Firefox just long-press on the URL, a menu pops up, select 'Copy URL'. Works every time for me and always has.

    No problem doing copy/paste on anything else either. I've never needed a clipboard app.

    Linux user #266351. Android since v1.0
     
  11. Fr0stTr0n

    Fr0stTr0n Well-Known Member
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    *barf* That being said, Dolphins cut and paste is also hit and miss, even with the S-pen and hell, I still can't Jelly Bean to copy stuff correctly from one app to another half the time using my Note 2 either, at least Windows does it right and easy unlike Android
     
  12. dylane

    dylane Well-Known Member
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    I see that works now if I'm on the page and not in text edit more. If I've highlighted the address and am in text edit mode, then I get an entirely different context menu with the icons, most of which I have no idea what they are supposed to mean, but I'm assuming one of them is copy. Of course that menu itself only pops up about 50% of the time, and I can't tell what I'm doing differently when it doesn't popup. So I'm sticking with my claim that it is a pretty inconsistent implementation of copy and paste throughout the system (many times, like in the FF example it seems that it was left to the app developer to decide how to implement, rather than being implemented uniformly at the OS level).
     

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