Web App Review: iCopy

licopy_ogo.gif

When I first heard of iCopy through fellow Phone Different writer Rene Ritchie, I thought, "Wow, what a great idea, I hope it works". When I installed the software, I was immediately skeptical due to the complexity of the steps involved. So, without saying too much more, let's dive right in!

To use iCopy is simple; install the JavaScript-based bookmarklet and you are good to go. To begin you simple tap the Copy/Paste bookmark in Safari on the iPhone. After doing this you are presented with three choice: Copy, Paste and Cancel.

Copy

After tapping copy you are presented with a few more choices:

  • Copy Text
  • Copy URL
  • Email Text
  • Email URL

These choices do what they say the do. For example, if you choose Copy Text, the iCopy page disappears and what ever body of text you tap on, iCopy will "copy" and store the text in a cookie within Safari. You can then feel free to navigate to what ever webpage you want to paste to and tap the iCopy bookmark again, and tap "Paste" which in essence retrieves the cookie... but wait, you are not done. Now you tap in the area you want to paste to again, select the text area for pasting and you are good to go.

Sound like fun and easy to use?

Not quite. However, the other choices such as Email Text or URL are vastly easier. If you want to copy text on a page into an email, simply tap the Copy/Paste bookmark and choose Email Text. You are then taken back to the webpage you were on. Tap a body of text and iCopy pastes it into a new email message! Sweet!

Bugginess

After using iCopy for a few days, I went back to it to use again and... nothing. The link just died. When I went to edit the bookmark, the JavaScript was still there, but it just was not working. I removed the bookmark and reinstalled it. After the install it appeared to work fine. However, the problem here is that this occurred 3 more times in the course of a week. This is very frustrating. To be fair, the product is still early and this developer seems enthusiastic and has a list of enhancements on the iCopy website.

Conclusion

I probably should be more positive than I am about iCopy, but I really feel the only redeeming function of the app is the Email Text function. It is certainly something to keep around for its usefulness, but I really don't see using this tool all the time; it is a far cry from a real copy/paste feature we so desperately desire on the iPhone. But kudos are due since this is the only app of its kind (that I am aware of) that can give us this type of functionality.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Look and Feel: 4
  • Navigation: 3
  • Features: 4
  • Reliability: 2

Overall: 3.25

Pros:

  • Fills a need on the iPhone
  • No hacking needed
  • Useful if used occasionally
  • Easy to copy text to an email

Cons:

  • Very buggy, refuses to launch sometimes; needs re-installation
  • Overly complicated process to copy text from page to page

Chad Garrett

Software trainer, blogger and mobile technology enthusiast living in the suburban Midwest.

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Web App Review: iCopy

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Ummm, ya i think I'll pass on this kluge. I'll wait for the actual copy/paste to arrive. But if people are willing to do all of that just to copy / paste it should make the case to Apple that they should hurry up development and release this feature.