There was a time, not that long ago, when copy and paste functionality was still a headlining feature on a phone. You were lucky to have a phone with a functional clipboard, and were even luckier if it worked worth a damn. Now it’s just understood that phones will be able to copy and paste, but some things never change—it still doesn’t work very well.
Conventionally, the default copy paste in Android kind of sucks. Android relies mostly on full-screen apps, so moving text from one place to another can be extremely tedious. It’s getting better ever so slowly, but luckily, there are several apps which work like a charm and can make this simple yet vital feature more efficient and can save you some vexation. Let’s take a look at some of the apps which invigorate your clipboard.
Native Clipboard helps ease the pain by allowing you to double-tap any text field to bring up a robust clipboard manager. You can quickly paste common blocks of text or manage multiple items you’ve copied.
This isn’t the first or the last clipboard for Android, but it’s probably one of the most discreet. Rather than having a floating bubble or something that hovers over everything you do, Native Clipboard is invisible until you double-tap a text field. It automatically saves text you’ve entered while it’s running (which means it can also act as a text-recovery app). You can save or paste text you’ve entered, text you’ve copied, or even pin blocks of text that you use frequently.
On the main Native Clipboard interface there’s a “clear all” button, but it won’t get rid of your pinned items. Can’t remember how long ago you copied something important? There’s a search button too. You can even manually insert new items into the clipboard history like an impromptu note taking app.
All Android users can enable Native Clipboard as an accessibility service in settings (for the double-tap), but Xposed users can actually integrate it with the system-level copy dialog. You need Android 5.0 or higher for full functionality, but Native Clipboard is completely free. It’s my personal favorite.
Android has included basic copy and paste functionality since time immemorial, but it’s improved over the years. One remaining pain point to this day is that much of the text on your device can’t actually be copied. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, and many others have only static text, but Universal Copy fixes that. Virtually any block of text can be dropped into the clipboard with this app.
To use Universal Copy, you need to enable it as an accessibility service, then flip the toggle in the app. When it’s on, you have a persistent notification that, when tapped, enables all the text on your screen to be copied. Simply tap the blocks of text you want to copy—unfortunately, you don’t have any finer control than that. When you’ve got everything you need, you can either tap the copy button at the top or launch edit mode with the pencil button.
Edit mode lets you clean up the text you copied in case you don’t want entire blocks. It produces a small editing interface at the bottom of the screen with selection handles to grab just a portion of what you originally selected. This app is completely free too.
Pushbullet is the number one must have app for those who work with multiple devices.You’ve probably heard of Pushbullet—it’s that awesome omnibus sharing and notification management tool. What you may not know is that Pushbullet has some awesome clipboard features that you can activate with a quick trip to the settings.
The first toggle you’re looking for is called “Automatically copy links and notes.” The name probably tells you everything you need to know. Whenever a new bit of text is pushed to the device, it will automatically hit your clipboard so you can paste it instantly. It’s just a minor tweak, but super useful. The app also includes a Universal copy paste feature in that same menu, which allows you to copy on one device and paste on another.
Flip the switch and your devices will automatically sync clipboard contents over the internet. You can copy on your phone, then immediately paste on your tablet like magic. If you have the Windows app on your PC, it will sync too. It happens almost instantly and really saves time. Unfortunately, universal copy and paste is a premium feature, so you’ll have to subscribe to Pushbullet Pro for a few buck per month. That also includes desktop notification mirroring, larger file sharing, and more.
Copy Bubble is a clipboard manager with a floating icon that makes it easier than ever to copy text or images in one app on Android and paste it in another.
When Copy Bubble is active, you can copy data as you normally would. The counter on the icon will fill up as you copy more things. When you want to access it, hit the icon and choose the appropriate clipboard item and an action—to copy it again, share it with another app, or delete it.
Copy Bubble takes only 1MB of storage, the floating Copy Bubble icon can be enabled/disabled with a tap from the notifications pane. The app will monitor all your clipboard items and show up only when you need it. Copy Bubble is one of the most convenient text clipboard managers for Android today.
As the name implies, Clipboard Actions makes it easy to take action on the things you copy. If you want to get a shortened URL, pull up a map, or generate a QR code, I’m not aware of any faster way than this app. It doesn’t even require any tedious setup or configuration after installation. Just copy, then check your notification shade for quick actions.
The copied text will be at the top of the notification with a delete button if you decide you don’t want it in the clipboard anymore. There are also arrows so you can browse through recent clipboard items. Below that are a few smart suggested actions like placing a call for a copied phone number or generating a shortened URL for web addresses. Below that are more generic options for searching, sharing, generating a QR code, loading in Maps, and translating.
The notification isn’t persistent, thankfully. It only shows up when you copy a new item, then you can dismiss it. If you want to retrieve something, you can open the Clipboard Actions app and reload any recent item back into your clipboard, complete with the handy notification.
Are you using any of these apps? Did you try one after reading this? Or do you use another clipboard manager? Sound off in the comments below.