Wisemen bring Jesus Phone (free) cut-and-paste
Jobsian hole filled
How-to Thanks to a new, free, web-based service launched today, you can now cut and paste text snippets between Safari and Mail on your iPhone.
As The Reg pointed out in our recent overview of Apple hardware, the Jesus Phone's lack of a cut-and-paste capability is one of its more annoying limitations. As we wrote, the lack of cut-and-paste is "a true pain, especially when quoting Web content in emails or moving info from Notes into email messages."
Today, at least part of that limitation has been mitigated with the launch of pastebud, a free service that doesn't require you to download and install anything from the iTunes App Store or to jailbreak Jesus. And it works on either the iPhone or the iPod Touch.
Here's how to get pastebud up and running.
Installing from Safari
Installing pastebud using Safari is a simple process - much simpler than setting up the service from your iPhone or iPod Touch.
1. Launch Safari and point it to pastebud.com.
2. From the green Try It Now boxout on the right right side of the page, drag both the COPY and PASTE bookmarks to Safari's Bookmark Bar, clicking the OK button each time to affirm their addition to the bar.
Installation from Safari is drag-and-drop simple
3. In the Try It Now boxout, click the underlined text "secret pastebud address." An email message will open. Use your email client's standard method for adding this address to your email-contact list.
Apple's Mail has its faults, but adding a contact is easy
4. The next step is, as the installations instructions indicate, to simply "Sync your iPhone with iTunes." When you do, however, make sure that you enable Bookmark syncing in the iTunes Info tab after you select your iPhone in the iTunes Devices area - that is, unless you have a MobileMe account, in which case syncing will be handled automatically if you've set Bookmarks to sync in the MobileMe System Preference on your Mac.
Installing from the iPhone or iPod Touch
Be forewarned: Installing pastebud directly from your iPhone or iPod Touch is a significantly more complicated than installing it from Safari, so if you can use the Safari method instead, we recommend that you do so.
1. Launch Safari on your iPhone or iPod Touch and point it to pastebud.com.
2. In the green Try It Now boxout on the right side of the page, tap COPY, then tap the plus button at the bottom of the display.
"A bit tricky" is a bit of an understatement
3. You'll then be asked if you want to add a bookmark - tap the Add Bookmark button to agree.
4. The Add Bookmark dialog will appear, with a bookmark named COPY appearing in the top field. Tap the Save button.
5. Now repeat those steps after tapping the PASTE link in the Try It Now boxout.
6. As the Try It Now box-out says, "here's the tricky part." Tap the Bookmark icon (the wee li'l open book) at the bottom of the iPhone or iPod Touch's display, then navigate to the base level of your Bookmarks, the tap the Edit button in the lower left corner of the display.
Ever edit a bookmark on your iPhone? You will now
7. Now tap the COPY bookmark and the Edit Bookmark dialog will appear. Tap the URL in the field below COPY, then press and hold on that URL until the editing magnifying glass appears.
Installing from the iPhone or iPod Touch (cont.)
8. When the magnifying glass appears, drag to the left across the URL until you get to the "____" section of the URL.
10. Click the Bookmarks button to return to the Bookmarks list, which will remain in the Edit mode.
11. Perform the same URL-revision routine with the PASTE bookmark, tap the Bookmarks button to return to the edit-enabled Bookmarks list.
12. Tap the Done button in the lower left corner, then tap the Done button in the upper right corner of the main Bookmarks list that appears - and hang in there. You're almost finished.
13. In Safari on your iPhone or iPod Touch, go back to pastebud.com and tap "your secret pastebud address" in the Try It Now box-out.
14. Mail's New Message dialog will appear. Add a Subject line and tap Send. In a moment, the account from which you sent that message will receive an email message from pastebud.
An email from your new buddy, pastebud
15. Open that message, tap the "pastebud" button in the From field, and select Create New Contact in the From dialog that appears.
16. In the New Contact dialog that appears, tap the Save button. Done. Finally.
Using pastebud takes a bit of a mental readjustment, seeing as how it's not as transparent a process as Command-C followed by Command-V - but once you get the hang of it, it's quite simple.
1. Launch Safari on your iPhone or iPod Touch and navigate to a web page.
Find that web page you just gotta quote...
2. Tap the Bookmark icon, then tap COPY in the Bookmarks list.
3. Your chosen web page will appear in a simplified, text-based mode. Scroll to the text you want to copy and select it by tapping and dragging.
...and pastebud will present it in text mode, where you'll make your selection.
4. Tap the Copy button in the upper right corner of the pastebud display. Your selected text is now on the clipboard.
5. Tap the bookmark icon in the lower right of the display, tap PASTE, and then when the pastebud diplay reappears, tap the New Message icon in the upper left of the pastebud display.
6. Mail will launch, with your selected text in the body of the displayed message. You can now add more text to the message, plus an address to which to send it and a subject line. After all, it's an email message like any other. Tap the Send button to send your message on its merry way.
Your selected text is pasted into Mail - and, yes, it's a lot easier the second time.
7. After the message is sent, the pastebud window will reappear. Use the left-facing arrow or bookmark icon to return to Safari.
Simple, eh? Maybe so, maybe not - but we found that after a few cut-and-pastes, the whole routine became second nature.
Now, if history is any guide, pastebud will be made obsolete when Apple adds full cut-and-paste capabilities to the next version of the iPhone OS. ®