TiPb Q&A: MagicPad Explains Cut and Paste Proof of Concept

Tired of waiting for a cut, copy, and paste on the iPhone? MagicPad -- a Note App replacement that also features Rich Text editing (buh-bye Marker Felt!) -- sure was. Witness the above proof-of-concept video. Ladies and gentlemen, the holy grail of iPhone feature.

Curious as to how they implemented their solution, and what challenges they faced? So were we, so we asked them. Read on for their answer!

Head of Product Development for Proximi, Juviwhale, told TiPb:

"The greatest challenge we faced when while developing MagicPad was attempting to develop a User Interface solution for text selection, copying and pasting on the iPhone that was simple and elegant yet versatile enough to be applied system wide.

What we have implemented in MagicPad is the first step towards a larger goal. We feel that MagicPad is a case study for the implemetation of standard UI for text selection and actions on the iPhone.

We also hope that Apple will soon define and implement a user interface for the iPhone which will make the demand for our product evaporate.

MagicPad is a starting point, a limited demonstration of what we are proposing as a candidate User Interface for text actions on the iPhone. We understand that whatever User Interface Apple implements will most likley define how users interact we touchscreen interfaces for generations.

We will actually detail our full comprehesive UI with a step-by-step video tutorialls on how our text editing system could work accross the iphone on our website shortly."

The referenced video, which is basically our thesis statement and thought process behind our proposed system and how it would integrate system-wide, should be on our site shortly. We are not marginalizing the complexity of the issue and understand why Apple has taken so long to implement something; copy & paste on the touchscreen is akin to the next generation of right-click. An elegant solution doesn't just happen overnight, and MagicPad is hopefully just a launching point.

Just like early Mac developers helped further push the platform and provide impetus for solutions Apple has not yet had considered, here's hoping Apps like MagicPad do to same for the iPhone.

Thanks to Proximi, Brian Radmin, and Juviwhale.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

TiPb Q&A: MagicPad Explains Cut and Paste Proof of Concept


So they took away the ability to drag your finger to select a spot and replaced it with selecting text. I find it very hard to select a certain spot within a block of text by selecting -- especially, for example, on a long URL where I need to drag to some part of the URL that doesn't appear in the field.
Kudos to Magicpad for giving it a shot, but this definitely can't be a systemwide solution.

I think the money quote is:
We also hope that Apple will soon define and implement a user interface for the iPhone which will make the demand for our product evaporate.
Not something you hear every day.
II think there's a multi-touch solution. Use this magnification paradigm, but include an additional touch on the screen (a thumb or other finger holding the device will do) in order to trigger text select mode vs. spot select mode.

It looks like he double tapped to initiate the drag to select tool. Perhaps a single tap would generate the typical cursor drag that we are used to?

I think the best idea for Apple to implement cut-copy-paste functionality would be to take 1/3rd out of the space bar, make a new button which when held down brings up a menu (like the .com, .net, etc menu for the .com button. That way you don't use up valuable screen-space, but you still give users the ability to copy and paste.